The 12 members of the Minneapolis Jury in the trial of Derek Chauvin have unanimously found him to be guilty of the murder of George Floyd on 25th May 2020.
Our thoughts should continue to turn to George Floyd and the final minutes of his life on that street. Our thoughts should also go to the family and loved ones of George Floyd, whilst recognising the aftermath of his murder was so universally jarring, that it became a shared human experience around the world. And of course, there are those – particularly African-Americans and other People of Colour - for whom this horrific crime was much, much more personal.
I now call on business leaders to recognise the emotional weight of this verdict. Please be mindful that for an event of this magnitude people will all react differently, and many may need time to process this outcome. Now is the time for truly inclusive leaders to earn their stripes. Making offers of counselling or listening sessions will go a long way towards actively supporting your Black and ethnically diverse employees. It’s time for allies to step up and step in, if needed, to give space and time to those who may now be reliving emotions they felt last year—and those associated with traumas they’ve experienced personally. Enabling these employees to ‘take a moment’ is a gesture of goodwill that will be appreciated and remembered.
Let’s remember that the systems of institutional racism that exist both in the US and the UK (despite what recent reports may say on the latter) still need to be addressed. This is not the end of the matter; it’s just one important step towards real justice for Black and ethnically diverse people.