While today's guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial may provide a measured sense of justice served, we know there is much work to do to overcome the deep roots of institutional racism in our nation.
George Floyd's murder last May in Minneapolis touched off worldwide protests, invigorated many difficult conversations about race and policing, and provoked a vexing combination of outright and underlying anguish throughout society, including within the workforce at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, and among the people we serve and the partners with whom we collaborate.
We were encouraged to see the jury reject attempts to blame Floyd and his substance use. Too many times, the stigma and criminalization of addiction are leveraged unjustly against people of color. The verdict, while small solace to Floyd's loved ones, sends the essential message that his life mattered—that Black lives matter.
Founded and headquartered as we are in Minnesota, a state with some of the nation's greatest racial disparities, we humbly recognize how much healing and systemic change still needs to happen. At Hazelden Betty Ford, we will continue to take actions to broaden our banner, learn from and lift up other voices, and create a more just society for all.