A Moment for Sober Reflection and a Recommitment to Equal Justice
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 20, 2021
President & CEO
877 355 8922 x2
United Ways of California, issued this statement regarding the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, convicted of murder in the killing of George Floyd.
We hope the guilty verdict handed down today provides some measure of justice and peace for Mr. Floyd and his family. What is left after the verdict in Minneapolis is a nation still reeling from the seemingly unrelenting occurrence of killings by police of unarmed individuals, disproportionately people of color, and stark disparities in administration of justice based on race, ethnicity and class.
We wish to take this moment as a time for sober reflection and a rededication to the cause of racial justice, social equity and constructive, non-violent dialogue that builds the respect and trust so sorely needed, especially between law enforcement and communities of color. United Way’s mission is to fight for the education, health, and financial stability of every person in every community. Everyone deserves the opportunity to be healthy, to learn, and to live with dignity. This vision requires equity, which means the intentional inclusion of everyone in society. Equity is achieved when systemic, institutional, and historical barriers based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and other identities are dismantled and no longer predict socioeconomic, education, and health outcomes. Our society has an obligation to work to remove barriers for and provide support for all people.
We must collectively work for concrete changes to make our public safety and health systems equitable, which means sharply reducing risk to Black and Brown lives. As the killing of George Floyd, and far too many others, demonstrates, it is undeniable that policing practices need to change significantly. This imperative underscores the need for California to declare racism a public health crisis so that we can move with greater purpose and speed in seeking solutions and designing health and public safety services that reflect our commitment to equity.
We also acknowledge the pain and trauma caused by the killing of Mr. Floyd and the trial, and that Black communities and others aggrieved by it deserve space to express their honest reactions and to be safe in doing so. Part of our work to challenge racial inequity and build together a better community is to listen to the pain of those bearing the brunt of structural racism, to show up to the trauma acknowledging it fully, and to hold space for our neighbors and family members as we seek out healing.
It is in this calling and work that we will move toward a vision of a community that is built on trust, safety and security for all. We invite you to join us as we pursue this vision through action and deep listening that equitably benefits all in our community.”
About United Ways of California
United Ways of California improves the health, education and financial results for low-income children and families by enhancing and coordinating the advocacy and community impact work of California’s local United Ways. We believe the involvement of all sectors— business, nonprofit, philanthropy, government, and an engaged citizenry—are required to make progress on vital challenges facing low-income children and families. For more information about United Ways of California visit www.unitedwaysca.org.