Our Response to the Chauvin Trial, Racial Justice and Ongoing Commitment to Change

Earlier today, twelve women and men in Minneapolis have found Derek Chauvin guilty in the murder of George Floyd. The system worked, bringing some measure of justice – and closure – to Mr. Floyd’s family. But events over the last weeks and months in Atlanta, Chicago, Indianapolis, Austin and more are sad reminders that our system, and our society, remain broken.

Justice cannot be served for one, until equal justice applies to all. Not just to straight white people who were born here, but to every single person living in America regardless of where they’re from, how they look and speak, who they pray to and whom and how they choose to love.

Looking back over the past year, I’d say that we have made some progress — mostly in the form of heightened awareness. But have we, really, progressed? Hardly.

The blunt reality is that we have a long, long way to go, and we can’t let the decisions made to date through filters of privilege and outdated views impede our commitment to eliminating systemic bias and white privilege once and for all, nor our will to make substantive change happen.

Every single one of us plays a part in what’s next; in how much change happens, how fast. It’s time — indeed, long past time — for us to stop accepting what’s comfortable, and start openly advocating for and investing in what’s not.

This is not a time for baby steps. We need jump-step change. There are no acceptable excuses as to why we can’t, because we can and must make it happen.

To our leadership team, I say this: we need to get comfortable being uncomfortable. That’s our new normal, because we are, all of us, going to do right by our people and all people from here on out.

I sincerely hope that public gatherings, be they in celebration or protest of the Chauvin verdict, are peaceful. At SHIFT, the change we hope to see will be effected through our hearts, our minds, our time and our actions.

These comments were written by Managing Partner Rick Murray, on behalf of SHIFT Communications.

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