Yesterday, we witnessed the significance that a single act of accountability can hold.
Like many around the world, our staff has closely followed the trial surrounding George Floyd’s murder. We were overcome with relief when the guilty verdict was delivered. We hope the ruling delivered some semblance of peace to Floyd’s family and friends, and all those impacted. Similarly, we hope our nonprofit partners and community members working to advance racial equity and justice are feeling heard and seen.
We say all of this knowing that too often this right is denied. Since Floyd’s murder, similar killings have unfolded across the country and in our own neighborhoods, from Daunte Wright to Jenoah Donald. The fear, pain and trauma inflicted by these avoidable tragedies does not disappear with the strike of a gavel. While significant, yesterday’s verdict simply marked another step in our pursuit to live up to the ideals we hold dearly as Americans.
Justice is one, and it will only come when our systems and policies fundamentally shift to prioritize the health, safety and well-being of Black people. No one is safe until everyone is safe, which is why we all have a responsibility and role to play.
For us and others in the philanthropic sector, this means using our platform to speak truth to power. We must also increasingly partner and fund organizations working to advance the reforms and changes required.
Here in southwest Washington, nonprofits and community coalitions are leading the way. Organizations like NAACP Vancouver, The Noble Foundation, SW Washington Communities United for Change, SW Washington LULAC, Odyssey World International Education Services and the Washington Coalition for Police Accountability are surfacing solutions and asking everyone to get involved.
Because, in the end, the system we all deserve is not one that convicts George Floyd’s killer. It’s one that keeps George Floyd alive.