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Statement From Equal Opportunity Schools on The Verdict of the George Floyd Murder Trial of Derek Chauvin

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Dr. Sasha Rabkin, Equal Opportunity Schools Interim President

Dr. Sasha Rabkin, Equal Opportunity Schools Interim President

SEATTLE, WA, USA, April 28, 2021 / -- We watched and anxiously awaited the outcome of the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin in connection with the murder of George Floyd that rallied America last year. On April 20th, we learned of the verdict convicting Chauvin of murder on all three counts in George Floyd’s death. Yesterday, we saw tears of joy and cheers of jubilee from protestors in crowds in cities across America. Today, we continue the work.

George Floyd’s death was tragic and preventable. So were the countless other victims of police violence, like Breonna Taylor and Ahmad Aubrey, and officers who were never held accountable. Our country has long refused to do the work of preventing these crimes. We tolerate racism, violence and misogyny. We maintain school to prison pipelines and blame young people for the failures of adult systems. Change is long overdue.

We want this conviction to be an inflection point that moves the needle in the right direction, toward accountability, racial equality, and social justice for all. While we were relieved to see this conviction, it represents only the smallest measure of accountability for a country still content to tolerate the overwhelming threat of police violence.

For our part, we recommit to being the best, most dynamic and engaged version of ourselves. Our organization has work to do. We have commitments to live up to and a vision to fully realize. We commit, and ask others to join us, to a fierce defense of the right for Black and Brown people to build political, cultural, and economic power. We hope that this conviction launches a reckoning in America that leads to structural changes that protect the lives of Black and Brown people from police violence, but more importantly that invites us to freedom dream about a future that is radically different from the present.

While we receive the news of Chauvin’s conviction, the community is still grieving the losses of Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, and Ma’Khia Bryant—three young people of color murdered by police in recent weeks.

Justice for George Floyd has always been about more than a single verdict and there is much more to be done to ensure that Black Americans can live without fear of police violence. EOS remains outraged and heartbroken by the effects of police violence on our Black community members—the lives lost, families left grieving, and the trauma that violent and racist policing continues to inflict every day. Yesterday’s verdict cannot return George Floyd’s life to him.

As an education equity organization, we know that real true change starts with education, teaching, and an understanding of each other's humanity. Justice is now in our hands. To speak up and to speak out against injustice. To stop and record when you see people of color mistreated by law enforcement. To create spaces for learning about others who don't look like you. To urge Congress to sign the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. And, most importantly, to take time for yourself and ensure your mental health as you navigate your world in these times. Whether you reflect, petition, or protest, we urge you to continue the journey to transformation and justice.

Stronger together,
Dr. Sasha Rabkin
Interim President
Equal Opportunity Schools

Daniel Chartock
TAG Collective
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