The George Floyd Verdict
Photo: Priscilla Gyamfi/Unsplash
As the verdict was delivered in the George Floyd murder trial on April 20, we were finally able to exhale. We have held our collective breath for almost a year, hoping but not daring to believe that the officer who had taken George Floyd’s life would be held to account for his brutal and inhumane actions.
While we can all breathe a little easier for the moment, we know the struggle is not over. Since George Floyd’s murder, too many other black, brown and indigenous people have met similar fates. Too many more will be subject to equally racist and discriminatory behavior. The scourge of racism goes too deep, has existed for too long, is present in too many areas of our lives to think that this small but significant victory will change much right away. It is, however, the beginning of that change and for that reason we must be hopeful. Calling out institutional racism, demanding police reform, speaking up when we witness an injustice—we are all responsible for helping to make the change happen.
S:US is committed to racial equity, which means we must be conscious of those practices and attitudes we may have that work against this commitment. We call on our workforce to help keep us true to this commitment. It will mean engaging all levels of staff in this work; it may mean uncomfortable conversations; it will mean listening to the often marginalized voices of those we serve as they help us to understand the challenges they face every day. We know that in this struggle there is no “us” and “them.” It is a fight, that while it may not affect us all in the same way, is one that affects us all as compassionate and caring human beings.
The verdict has strengthened S:US’ resolve to diversity, equity and inclusion. We know the road will be long and hard but it is a journey we must take. Stay strong, S:US community, and know how much you matter.