On behalf of CommonHealth ACTION, I wish to extend heartfelt condolences to the family of George Floyd as I continue to pray for their strength and healing.
The conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, is hopefully the beginning of our transit from inflection point to reflection and change. The justice system, with some of the most irrefutable evidence possible, worked to hold a White police officer accountable for murdering a Black man — a rare occurrence nationally and a first in Minnesota.
In this moment, it is important to recognize that just as the United States did not become “post-racial” when President Obama was elected; the criminal justice system did not become “post-racial,” anti-racist, or equitable because Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder.
This is the moment when it is critical that we double-down on our efforts to succeed at perspective transformation because the criminal justice system is made up of people. Police departments are made up of people. Becoming a safe and equitable country requires that we work to apply pressure to systems, policies, and leaders where it is needed and that we come together as people to do the difficult work of changing hearts and minds.
This is ultimately about people and how we choose to value each other.
My hope is that we each take the coming days to reimagine our future and envision a country free of racism and inequities. Then, we each can be inspired to find the best ways to engage and contribute to making that vision a reality. We are late becoming the best version of ourselves, but I believe that with hard work, equitable leadership, bravery, and by being in authentic human relationships — there is still time!
Remember to check on each other. Seeing George Floyd murdered over and over was a collective trauma experienced by millions of people of all ages and although some have understandably taken this moment to celebrate — for many, the hurt and fear are still front of mind. The reverberations will be experienced for years to come, possibly generations. Last summer I wondered, “what must the children be thinking?” Today, I am wondering the same thing. I encourage you to check on the children in your life, create space for expression, and help them process and heal from this difficult time in our history.
Yours in Health and Hope,
Natalie S. Burke, President and CEO