Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted Tuesday for the murder and manslaughter of George Floyd. This verdict brings accountability, and we acknowledge that more must be done to achieve racial justice for our community and society. It does not bring George Floyd back. It does not make his daughter and loved ones whole, and it does not negate the fact that Black communities still continue to live in fear.
"As we grieve with George Floyd’s family, we acknowledge that it is not just individuals, but institutions that bear the responsibility for the loss of Mr. Floyd’s life and the pain his family experiences," said Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, First 5 Commission Chair. "Their trauma has become our trauma and our collective responsibility. We must have the courage to address this racial injustice head-on, to support necessary interventions, and to break these cycles of intergenerational trauma."
All children deserve the right to grow up without the fear of being murdered, without the anxiety that their father, mother, or caregiver may not make it home to tuck them in at night. Until Black families and communities of color can live without this anxiety and fear, we will not have justice.
The issue of institutional violence, lack of accountability, and absence of real safety for Black communities and communities of color existed before the murder of George Floyd and persists today. A verdict in one case will not address the root causes of the collective trauma that has been experienced by institutional racism, unless it is followed by transformative reforms and targeted investments that address and make whole communities who have been disproportionately impacted by this injustice.
"First 5 California is committed to working with families, caregivers, and community partners throughout the state to address the racial inequities in our systems. We commit to providing the support, resources, and advocacy necessary for all children and families to be safe, to be healthy, and to thrive and further acknowledge our moral obligation to do this more intentionally for and with families and children of color," said Camille Maben, Executive Director of First 5 California.
ABOUT FIRST 5 CALIFORNIA:
First 5 California was established in 1998 when voters passed Proposition 10, which taxes tobacco products to fund services for children ages 0 to 5 and their families. First 5 California programs and resources are designed to educate and support teachers, parents, and caregivers in the critical role they play during a child's first five years – to help California kids receive the best possible start in life and thrive. For more information, please visit www.ccfc.ca.gov.
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