This week, a jury of Minnesotans found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty in the murder of George Floyd. We are thankful that some measure of accountability has been delivered to his family, but deep in our hearts, we also know that more must be done to provide the kind of safety, security and justice he and so many others have been denied.
One guilty verdict doesn’t mean that racism embedded in our society has been purged from the criminal justice system. If it had, George Floyd — and Makiyah Bryant, Adam Toledo, Daunte Wright and too many others to name — would still be alive. Fear, power and prejudice continue to fuel deadly state violence.
The problem is systemic and so too must be the solution. This successful prosecution is one small step in a long journey. It should be painfully obvious that much work lies ahead of us to create a world where the lives of Black Americans are respected and our system holds everyone equal under the law, regardless of their position or power.
What can and what should philanthropy do?
4 Actions will make a difference
- Make Space for Care: This is a time of great pain, frustration and hurt. It’s also a time to show care for your friend, your colleague, your neighbor — especially from Black and other communities of color — who have been and continue to be triggered and traumatized by systematic dehumanization and racism in all parts of life.
- Fund the Walk: It is a time to do more than empathize with Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian American and other communities that have been systematically discriminated, under-resourced and kept at the margins. Solidarity requires action, not just rhetoric.
- Commit to Dismantling White Supremacy: We know that to leave this nation better for succeeding generations, we must tackle and dismantle systemic racism and the white supremacy that is baked into the DNA of this country and its institutions of power, including philanthropy. It’s time to take a hard look at who and how we are funding and ask whether we can be doing better.
- Redefining Safety: It is time to financially support immediate, short-term and long-term efforts that redefine policing beyond the violence-based approach of traditional law enforcement.
Read the full article about philanthropy fighting for safety, security and justice by Aaron Dorfman at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.