Southern Anti-Racism Network Statement on Derek Chauvin Conviction
Derek Chauvin is a murderer. Derek Chauvin, former Minneapolis police officer, pressed the life out of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 by kneeling on the neck of George Floyd for nine minutes and 29 seconds. Darnella Frazier, 17-year old bystander, taped 8 minutes and 46 seconds of the action taken by Derek Chauvin that resulted in the death of George Floyd. Were it not for the courage of Darnella Frazier, the proof of what Derek Chauvin did would not have been exposed as soon as it was.
On April 20, 2021, a jury delivered a unanimous verdict of guilty on all counts making it official that Derek Chauvin is a murderer. Prosecutors under the leadership of Keith Ellison, Minnesota Attorney General, did their jobs well. They brought forth law enforcement officials, emergency medical professionals, eye witnesses to prove that the actions of Derek Chauvin led to the death of George Floyd. The initial story by law enforcement that George Floyd died due to a medical incident was exposed as a lie. The verdict confirms what we were able to see with our own eyes thanks to the courageousness of Darnella Frazier. In the months since May 2020, good people all over the world protested the obvious wrong of Derek Chauvin showing callous disregard for the life of George Floyd. Derek Chauvin disgraced himself and made us all aware that an encounter with law enforcement could be deadly. Numerous incidents reveal being Black and Brown increases the danger in an encounter with law enforcement.
The jury verdict declaring Derek Chauvin guilty of murder is a start in getting the accountability we should demand from law enforcement who take an oath to “serve and protect”. Derek Chauvin along with his fellow officers failed to live up to their sworn oath. The conviction of Derek Chauvin should send a clear message to all law enforcement that they should expect to be held accountable for their actions that harm or cause the death of someone in their custody.
Within eight weeks Derek Chauvin will be sentenced for his crime of murdering George Floyd. His fellow officers who stood by and did nothing could be tried in a few months. Gaining full accountability has not been achieved yet. We must press on so police officers know they have a duty to intervene when a fellow officer is acting in a manner that is endangering the life and health of persons in their custody.
How do we advance towards equal justice? The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act must be passed. The US Senate is dysfunctional. The minority faction led by Mitch McConnell is exposing the systemic racism that continues to cause death after death of Black and Brown boys, girls, men and women. The question is, “What side are you on?”
Southern Anti-Racism Network is calling on people of good will to choose. Choose to call your US Senate representatives and demand they pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
UMOJA Unity Talks of the Black Liberation Movement!
Saturday, April 24, 2021
Saturday, March 27, 2021
Saturday, February 27, 2021
Saturday, January 30, 2021
Saturday, December 26, 2020
SPICE 2020 Summer Events: July 25 and August 15
In March, Southern Anti-Racism Network reached out to build relationships with additional community partners to address the COVID-19 pandemic impact on the Strong Parental Involvement in Community Education (SPICE) program. Housing Authority of Columbus agreed to identify families with children between the ages of seven years old and ten years old for survey outreach to their parents. We conducted surveys at E.J. Knight and Wilson Homes in anticipation that we would be able to use computer labs in Housing Authority communities for SPICE classes given the library computer lab was closed. Unfortunately, the Housing Authority has not opened up its offices out of an abundance of caution in this spike of coronavirus community spread in Columbus.
Columbus Public Library has proven essential in our efforts to give support to parents in this new situation of using technology for teaching and learning. Alan Harkness offered the resource of the Bookmobile. We conducted two summer events on July 25 at South Columbus United Methodist Church and on August 15 at Wilson Homes.
Parents participating on July 25 were Petra Gertjegerdes with daughter Bailey Myricks at Rigdon Road; Angela Tripp with son Derrick Simmos at Dorothy Height; and Mary Naik with daughter Mariah Naik at Dorothy Height. Jennifer LeDenney, SPICE Coordinator, provided one-on-one instruction in setting up Chromebooks for students and their parents. Three Chromebooks were distributed on July 25.
Parents participating on August 15 at Wilson Homes had the benefit of completing verification week so most parents in attendance had picked up Chromebooks for their children who are students at Fox, Brewer and Downtown elementary schools. We asked parents who expressed interest in helping their neighbors to become parent/organizers. One parent, Lakeisha Ross, received a Chromebook for Co’Marion Ross, student at Fox Elementary. Susana Ortiz, parent of a student at Brewer agreed to be a parent/organizer. Serita Duffie, parent of students at Dorothy Height and Wilson Home resident agreed to be a parent/organizer. Isnaida Russell, parent of student at Fox Elementary and resident of Wilson Homes agreed to be a parent/organizer. Julie Boylan, parent of student at Downtown Elementary also agreed to be a parent/organizer. Five Chromebooks were distributed on August 15.
Jennifer LeDenney made sure all parents receiving Chromebooks were properly set up with Zoom and other applications that might be useful. Thanks to Bookmobile drivers Dan and Dorsey we had electricity and WI-FI to complete the set up. Serita Duffie, parent organizer, has agreed to survey additional parents at Wilson Homes for participation in SPICE. We look forward to building deeper community relationships in Housing Authority communities to close the achievement gap.
SARN Mission Statement
SARN develops campaigns and projects in the South to end racial disparities in criminal justice, economic opportunities, education, environment/housing and health care.We’re a network of activists who cross the lines of race, gender, class, age and immigration status to challenge divisions in the movement to end white supremacy.
Building a Village
We are building a village to support high academic achievement and positive behavior for all students in Muscogee County, Georgia. We are parents, students, educators, community activists, people in business and people of faith who believe it takes a village to raise a child.
Parent Participation and Support
High Expectations for All Students
Academic and Social Support Services
Early Childhood Learning Opportunities
Teacher Quality, Retention, and Support
Ending School-to-Prison Pipeline
High suspension rates of African American and disabled students, the education achievement gap and the growing prison population are inextricably linked. Community education about this social concern is necessary to end the school-to-prison pipeline.