YMCA of Greater Seattle Response to Chauvin Verdict

Last updated: April 22, 2021, at 4:06 p.m. PT

Originally published: April 21, 2021, at 1:43 p.m. PT

Loria Yeadon President and CEO

As my family reflected on the Chauvin verdict and events since George Floyd’s murder in May 2020, we shared a range of emotions all at once – relief, sadness, optimism, grief, justice, rage, and hope. Today, our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are with the Floyd and Chauvin families. Even though there is some satisfaction from the verdict, we recognize that there is no victory here, and there are no winners when a life is lost at the hands of another, only family members, bystanders, and communities left to mourn and recover from the resulting trauma and pain that will linger for a lifetime. They all deserve our empathy and support as we look ahead to the hard work and healing in front of us.

While the guilty verdict sparks hope and renders accountability for the inhumane and senseless murder of George Floyd, the death of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) people in encounters with police continue, and we know this verdict is just the first of many steps in a long journey towards true equity and justice for all. As President Biden eloquently stated, we must meet this moment with more than a verdict and use this moment to foster change, not just satisfaction. There is more to do.

As we reflect together on these events and acknowledge the violence, inequities, hate, and systemic racism that continue in our community, we must look ahead and make the choice to move forward in the spirit of building community. We must empower ourselves to be role models of the positive, unrelenting change that is essential for progress. Please be resolved and intentional in doing your part to continue to advance equity and justice for all. Each of us has a role to play to dismantle systemic racism and achieve a better us.

Let’s stay committed to building a just world where love, compassion, respect, and equity are the norms, and hate cannot win; a world where each person can thrive – especially the young – and realize their full potential in spirit, mind, and body; and a world where young people of all backgrounds can realize a future of belonging and affirmation. It is up to all of us to support and listen to one another, and work together to make our community a safer, more welcoming place for all.

We encourage you to exercise self-care and make space for yourselves to heal, to support one another, and to help each other learn and grow. In this moment, a spirit of Harambee, or a coming together, is our path forward.

Please be well and good to yourselves.

Loria Yeadon
President and CEO