Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns released a statement via Twitter on Monday describing his thoughts behind the death of George Floyd, the nationwide protests which followed and why he will be joining Ball State community members in a protest march on Thursday.
On Sunday, Mearns sent out a tweet stating that he would be hosting a meeting on Monday with local leaders, including law enforcement officials, "to develop a collaborative campus and community response."
That same day, multiple Ball State students began circulating information about a plan to march from Shafer Tower on Ball State's campus to Muncie's City Hall in downtown Muncie at 5 p.m. Thursday.
Around noon on Monday he tweeted thanking Ishmael El-Amin, junior guard for Ball State Basketball, for speaking with him that morning and allowing him to walk alongside El-Amin and other members of the Ball State community Thursday evening.
In his statement, Mearns said he shares the sentiments expressed by people across the country and around the world about Floyd's death and condemns the actions of the police officers responsible in his death.
"I cannot fully appreciate the pain and fear that are felt by members of the African-American community, and I cannot walk in their shoes," Mearns said in his statement. "But on Thursday evening, I will walk in solidarity with our students, our faculty and staff, and our friends and neighbors."
He said the peaceful march "will provide an opportunity for all of us to renew our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion—and to the pursuit of freedom, liberty, and equality of all people."