Equal Justice is a Journey

Yesterday, “Breaking News: Jury has reached a verdict …” flashed up on televisions, phones, laptops, and tablets. People held their breath waiting - ironically, given George Floyd’s last words were, “I can’t breathe.” The nation exhaled as the judge read the word “guilty” three times.

Partial justice. Black people collectively, George Floyd’s family specifically, felt some form of justice finally showed up to expose a system that has used unfair practices against people of color for centuries.

Equal justice – George Floyd would be alive today. 

A memorial for George Floyd in Minneapolis, May 28. Photograph by Lorie Shaull, Wikimedia Commons.

A memorial for George Floyd in Minneapolis, May 28. Photograph by Lorie Shaull, Wikimedia Commons.

This verdict was made possible, in part, because a brave 17-year old, Darnella Frazier, a young Black woman, held her phone to record the atrocity as it happened. People of all races, cultures, ethnicities, religions, genders and ages marched. It was made possible because people decided not to remain silent when confronted with injustice and suffering. The humanity of people willing to use their voice to protest, testify and exercise their civic duty to seek what is fair and right for another human being are all reasons why a guilty verdict was rendered yesterday. People shared their strengths.

While this was an important moment for the nation, it is just one moment. The nation needs meaningful and sustainable change.

While there was some relief in the verdict, at least three times in the past two weeks, we have seen instances of racial profiling repeated with the degradation and humiliation of U.S. Army 2nd Lieutenant Caron Nazario; and loss of life for Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo, a 13-year old boy.

President Biden stated in his address to the nation last night, “We can’t leave this moment, and look away thinking our work is done,” he said. “We have a chance to begin to change the trajectory in this country.”

The harm systemic racism causes in all communities of color in America is not only an assault on our democracy but also challenges our belief in that same democracy. Share Our Strength, the nonprofit organization that runs the No Kid Hungry campaign, remains committed to ensuring our staff is supported in their diversity and in their efforts to achieving equity for all children and families.

Our work is to ensure every child in America has access to three meals a day and to help lift families out of poverty. This is our contribution to improving the injustices in communities marginalized by systemic racism and other forms of oppression. 

Share Our Strength is on a journey. A journey that continues to push us toward bold actions to change the trajectory of children and families facing generational poverty and hunger. We don’t have a simple solution to systemic racism or the inhumane brutality that killed George Floyd. What we have is our commitment to equity and justice. 

Yesterday was a moment. At Share Our Strength, we’re here today, we’ll be back again tomorrow, and the day after that, and every day until we finish our work on this journey. We will get there together, sharing all of our strengths.