On Wednesday, April 20, 2021, a jury in Minneapolis found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of the murder of George Floyd. This is a brief moment of accountability. And it could never have happened if not for the countless hours and thousands of people who fought for this verdict in the streets, online, and in all the ways communities put pressure on those in power. We still mourn the death of George Floyd and all of the other Black people who have been murdered at the hands of the police. We know that we have a long way to go before we reach anything resembling justice. In fact, as we awaited the verdict, police in Columbus, Ohio killed 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant when she called them for help. We have no time to become complacent or comfortable and must continue to demand more. We must not allow this single verdict to vindicate an entire criminal justice system.
We cannot overlook the fact that the murders of George Floyd and Daunte Wright happened in Minneapolis, home to four Teen Tech Centers (with another three in neighboring St. Paul) in our network. We stand in solidarity with the organizations and individuals supporting the community, processing these events as they happen in their backyard.
We will continue to say “Black Lives Matter,” hold institutions accountable, and stand against white supremacy culture as we advocate for justice. We will continue to do everything we can to create safe spaces for Black and other marginalized youth as we work together to fight oppressive systems.