We are relieved that police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd, and hope that the verdict brings some measure of solace to Mr. Floyd’s loved ones and to Black communities around the country.
At the same time, we recognize that while the verdict brought accountability, it did not bring justice. Justice will only come when the routine murder and mistreatment of Black parents, children and neighbors is no longer characteristic of our nation. To get to justice, we must be vigilant and clear-eyed, spotting the tentacles of racism that are threaded throughout our communities, systems, and institutions–and cutting them off at the root.
We at First 5 are calling on ourselves to be more effective in working for racial justice and equity. We are looking inward at our processes and systems, redoubling our efforts to unearth and extract racism in all its embedded places and forms in our own work, as well as in society. We are committed to building and ensuring structures at the policy and systems level that are anti-racist and equitable.
We will keep creating and clamoring for a resilient safety net that prevents and mitigates the trauma that racist systems and actors impose on our Black and Brown communities. And we will continually hold the vision of what we know can be, and what we demand, for every child in California: communities with healthy and safe physical environments; conditions for shared economic security and mobility; access to lifelong learning, education and employment; and opportunities to connect with one another in shared humanity.