The Derek Chauvin Trial: Our Path Forward


Yesterday, we were all able to breathe a collective sigh of relief as the guilty verdicts came for the Derek Chauvin trial. The justice system did exactly what it was supposed to do.

But, as the judge began to read the charges, there was a moment… a moment of doubt where, despite the widespread outcry, global protests, and overwhelming evidence, I felt that there was a possibility that Derek Chauvin would go free. This verdict is absolutely an important step towards the fair delivery of justice and accountability, but let’s not make the mistake of thinking this was about right and wrong. On the contrary, we all witnessed the murder of George Floyd. And, while this is one step in the direction of achieving racial equity, the journey before us is long.

The question is, what now? 

Our struggle in the coming days and weeks is predicated on what we do with that question. We live in a system where hours before a verdict is read, there is a moment of angst - - a moment where a black man questions whether justice is even possible, despite clear evidence and worldwide pressure.  

At NBT, we stand for Black lives - - as a collective of individuals that identify with the prejudices, inequities and disparities, that people of color face each day, which impact our education system, our justice system, our healthcare system and much more. We need to find what unites us, rather than further entrench ourselves in our divisions. The hard work in the days ahead should not deter us or wear us down; especially from speaking out and mobilizing when we see injustices, or from putting in the effort to address the inequities in our society. As long as we continue the conversations in our circles, we can move forward and make permanent change. In the words of Dr. King, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

It’s not an easy path we are choosing to walk, but for the sake of generations past, present, and future, we will never stop striving to make our communities better.

April 21, 2021

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