Yesterday, Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all charges for the murder of George Floyd last May, which sparked worldwide protests in support of Black lives.
This verdict, we hope, brings some sense of justice on a personal level to those who knew Floyd. What this verdict does not do, however, is change the fact that Black Americans continue to face racial injustices every day — not only in how police treat them in this country, but in every aspect of their lives.
The director of the CDC, Rochelle Walensky, recently declared racism as a public health threat that “affects the health of our entire nation.” Racism is a plague that has denied Black Americans access to the fundamental necessities required to live a healthy life such as health care, a place to live, food, or in the case of people like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, and too many others, life itself.
As a country, today is a step forward in acknowledging systemic racism in America, but we must do more to address its root causes in every corner of our society. We need to invest in our Black communities so that families can not only access basic needs for their survival and safety, but access resources that allow them to thrive as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yesterday’s news just reinforces our resolve — we know that we have a role and responsibility to fight for health equity for Black Americans and to create the systemic change needed to dismantle racism on all fronts, and we will continue supporting and building power in our communities to do so.