Statement on Derek Chauvin Verdict

April 20, 2021

Today, we joined millions of people across the country in breathing a collective sigh of relief at the outcome of the Derek Chauvin trial. Together, we marked a too-rare instance in which the justice system held a police officer fully accountable for the murder of an innocent Black man. 

Despite the verdict, there is more work to do. Elected officials continue to target Black and brown communities with repressive election laws to gain political advantage and consolidate power. Social media platforms still amplify hate and racism, inspiring violence on and offline. And too many vital news outlets led by and serving people of color are under threat and attack just for doing their jobs.

Determined organizers are fighting these threats — in fact, this trial would not have been possible without their efforts to bring national attention to this murder almost a year ago. Despite perpetual oppression rooted in racism and white supremacy, BIPOC-led organizations continue to serve as a driving force pushing toward a more open and just democracy. 

We know there is a delicate balance between the relief today’s victory brings and the road ahead. This journey to a more perfect union does not end with one verdict, nor is justice achieved in one trial. We remain committed to investing in BIPOC-led organizations and amplifying the voices of Black and brown people, while challenging our own assumptions and checking our philanthropic privilege.

Democracy Fund will continue to stand with and support grantees, partners, organizers, and activists who are turning anger into action and working to create a democracy that serves not just a select few, but all.