Our Statement on the Conviction of Derek Chauvin

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We welcome yesterday’s guilty verdict against Derek Chauvin. And we once again extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of George Floyd. This verdict is an important step towards justice – towards a long-overdue reckoning with the epidemic of police brutality in this country.

However, despite this positive step, it doesn’t change the fact that George Floyd was murdered by the very police charged with protecting him and those like him. Or that this type of injustice continues to be committed against Black and Brown individuals across the country. Further, one just action following so many unjust actions does not solve the systemic injustice that exists in this county.

So, while we are grateful some accountability was served in this case, we know true justice will not be possible until the white supremacy that perpetuates so many of the institutions in our society is dismantled. Repeated acts of violence against Black people at the hands of police must stop. Persistent threats to the lives and livelihoods of people of color at the hands of the very people sworn to serve and protect must stop.

In our role as a philanthropic institution, we will fiercely combat racism in all its forms. We will continue on our own difficult journey to becoming a multicultural, anti-racist organization. We will continue to support community-led organizations and individuals that are working tirelessly to create true systemic change and tear down the many forms of oppression that continue to plague this country. We will look for opportunities to transform our own sector. And we invite you to join us and to hold us accountable.

We are grateful to local groups in Minnesota, like Black Visions Collective and TakeAction Minnesota, and national organizations like the Movement for Black Lives and Color of Change, who have worked tirelessly over many years to expose these injustices and to shift public narratives and public will to do something about it. It is vital we all continue to support their work and follow their lead in reimaging the criminal justice system and rethinking public safety.

The road ahead is long. Let us take a deep breath and acknowledge while nothing will bring George Floyd back, a jury unanimously decided that his life mattered. And then we get back to work building a racially just and equitable country where these types of atrocities are no longer commonplace.