To members of our GUSP community

April 22, 2021

The conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on all three counts in the death of George Floyd is a just decision that is a first step forward in a long journey of needed action, reform, and societal change in the fight against prejudice. Following more than a year of calls for justice, and the ongoing detailed and graphic recounting of the murder of an unarmed man—the brutality of which has evoked such immense pain and suffering across the country—there is hope that this is a turning point in the discrimination and abuse against people of color in America.

While this verdict is welcome, we recognize that this one decision will in no way end, or does justice to, the more than four centuries of deep-rooted systemic racism, oppression, and violence that continues on this land against black, indigenous, and people of color. This conviction is a historical moment, and I hope that it energizes and strengthens renewed collective efforts for the many fights ahead of us against injustice. This is a long journey that will continue to be emotional and difficult, but it is only reasonable to believe that people of color also have the right to breathe. At this time, and in embracing the bend of that arc, it is important to stress again that GUSP celebrates diversity, global human rights, and that we firmly believe that Black Lives Matter.

Igor Vojnovic
Interim Director
Global Urban Studies Program