While there is no erasing the loss of George Floyd or the outrage caused by his senseless murder, the conclusion of the Derek Chauvin trial shows us that accountability is possible. As we pause and reflect on this moment, we recognize that the struggle for justice has never been more urgent, and the work to uproot institutional racism has never been more necessary.
It is clear that this conviction would not have been possible had it not been for the courage and resolve of a young woman, Darnella Frazier, who captured the depravity of Derek Chauvin’s actions on video tape. What’s equally clear is the determined work of young people who created the conditions for accountability, in particular the leaders in the Movement for Black Lives across the country and in Minnesota who forced a national conversation and reckoning on racism. Their organizing demonstrates the power of building movements from the ground up.
The Ford Foundation will continue to support Black and other people of color-led organizations that are fighting tirelessly for justice and equality. These groups and their allies are working to reimagine shared safety by shrinking the footprint of policing in Black communities and demanding government investment in what makes for truly healthy and secure communities: good jobs, quality schools, affordable health care, mental health supports, green parks and clean water.
We know that progress can feel fleeting when we have to continually mourn Black and brown lives senselessly lost to state violence. The long work of justice must continue.
We will continue to reckon with racism in America.
We will continue to work toward justice.
And we will keep saying their names.