As most of you know, Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three charges in the death of George Floyd, including the most serious charge, second degree murder. While this verdict does hold one police officer accountable for their violent actions, and we should recognize that victory, this ruling does not provide justice for all of the victims of police violence, nor does it change the system that allows for these killings to continue or bring back George Floyd. Since the Chauvin trial began, more than three people a day were victims of police violence and more than half of those were Brown and Black people.
These past few months have taken a toll on our BIPOC faculty, staff and students and on our community as a whole as we continue our work toward a safer and more just society. Many of you have asked how you can get involved in movement work that addresses police violence, a question that was addressed by SJCO faculty member Craig Gilmore in Saturday’s webinar, Abolition: Derek Chauvin, George Floyd, and This Moment. “Get involved. If you have a cell phone or a computer, you have something to contribute.” Professor Gilmore goes on to emphasize that every community has organizations that are in need of support developing bail funds or fighting the construction of a new prison and volunteering a few hours a week to those small organizations is critically useful. Panelists from the webinar also shared organizations they are connected to that can use your support and those are listed below. Most importantly, anti-racist work takes a commitment from everyone to educate themselves on how these systems function and what dismantling them entails. If you haven’t already, I strongly encourage you to watch the webinar on abolition hosted by our own faculty to better understand these issues.
We hold George Floyd and all the others whose lives have been taken in our thoughts and commit to doing our part to reimagine and build a better future. Please reach out to our counseling services should you need support during this time.
Anita Fernández, Chief Diversity Officer
SJCO Presents: Abolition, George Floyd and This Moment: https://youtu.be/ENbLvx1tl5Q
Center for Political Education: https://politicaleducation.
Critical Resistance: http://criticalresistance.org/
Beyond Prisons: https://www.beyond-prisons.
Image: Lalo Alcaraz