Yesterday, the world, this country and our community witnessed the true essence of what accountability should be. For far too long, accountability has been absent, for police and others, as people of color are continuously murdered, traumatized, devalued and dismissed in this country.
Although we have so much more work to do to truly claim justice, we have absolutely taken a monumental step forward. In this moment, we can BREATHE, if only for a moment, knowing real change just might be imminent. The reality of justice is possible but we cannot quit. Even more importantly, we must be very clear in knowing that we’ve only just begun.
Almost three years ago, CICF took on a major leadership role in calling out systemic racism. We believe our hard work has not been in vain. We are certainly not the first—or only ones—doing this important work. People of color, community leaders and grassroots organizations have been fighting for racial equity for generations. Together, we can and will do the necessary work that will impact generations of people.
While we and the country can embrace yesterday’s victory, we must also painfully acknowledge that the issue has not stopped. As the Derek Chauvin verdict was being delivered, a 16-year-old Black girl was shot and killed by the police in Columbus, Ohio. Even though all of the factors involved are still being investigated, this shooting has created yet ANOTHER incident of community unrest and trauma. We cannot continue to live and die this way.
In the midst of our hope, gratitude and joy, we have to remain charged in our demand for true justice and equitable opportunity for all. We have to continue to be strong, bold and courageous in the fight. For, without justice, there is no peace.