The conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd offers a time for us all to reflect on where we are in our pursuit of racial justice, what it takes to get there, and the work that lies ahead. A statement released by Share Our Strength, Community Wealth Partners’ parent organization, offers some context:
“This verdict was made possible, in part, because a brave 17-year old, Darnella Frazier, a young Black woman held her phone to record the atrocity as it happened. People of all races, cultures, ethnicities, religions, genders, and ages marched. It was made possible because people decided not to remain silent about injustice and suffering. The humanity of people willing to use their voice to protest, testify, and exercise their civic duty to seek what is fair and right for another human being are all reasons why a guilty verdict was rendered yesterday. People shared their strengths.
While this was an important moment for the nation, it is just one moment. The nation needs meaningful and sustainable change. While there was some relief in the verdict, at least three times in the past two weeks, we have seen instances of racial profiling repeated with the degradation and humiliation of U.S. Army 2nd Lieutenant Caron Nazario; and loss of life for Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo, a 13-year old boy. President Biden stated in his address to the nation last night, ‘We can’t leave this moment, and look away thinking our work is done,’ he said. ‘We have a chance to begin to change the trajectory in this country.’”
Changing the trajectory in this country will require involvement from every corner of society, working to dismantle oppressive systems, redistribute resources, and restore power for people historically denied it. To better understand what this might look like in practice, see ABFE’s imperatives for taking action on anti-Black racism. These imperatives are written for philanthropy, but nonprofits can follow them as well.
Community Wealth Partners is on its own journey to center racial equity in everything we do. We remain committed to working alongside our partners in pursuit of equity, and we are grateful to those who have taught us and helped us on this journey. If we continue to bring our strengths to this effort and a deep, ongoing commitment to equity, we can indeed change the trajectory.
Our team is reflecting again on the words shared by Black leaders across the social sector after the murder of George Floyd – words about the importance of Black leadership, centering Black women, investing deeply in racial justice, and bearing witness to the pain and violence of white supremacy. Those words and calls to action are just as important today. Re-read them here.
Photo courtesy of Lorie Shaull