On the evening of April 20th, shortly after 1:44 pm, people around the world breathed a sigh of relief when a jury found former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin guilty of the murder of George Floyd. In the eyes of many, this day was more about accountability than actual justice.
Our history has demonstrated that laws and policies are not enough to combat systemic racism or modify human bias behavior. Change has to occur within a person or racist culture. Until change occurs, we will continue the cycle of racism, injustice, protest, and frustration.
We should move beyond the norms of celebrating small wins and offering prayers. As a society, we need to continue down a path of accountability until we reach the ultimate goal of justice for all. The fact that racism still exists in America is unacceptable. Remember, no one wins until we all do.
Over the past year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Ohio have provided free training to both the community and our partners in cultural competence and implicit bias. We vow to continue the fight against racism on behalf of our community by educating others.
Our mentoring programs, such as “Community” and “Bigs With Badges,” connect individuals from different cultures and backgrounds. It provides a safe and positive environment to remove negative stereotypes that lead to racism and enhance program participants’ cultural competence.
As the CEO of a youth mentoring organization, I vow to continue taking proactive measures to protect and empower the next generation.
Dr. Marvin Whitfield