Richard Edelman sent the below note to all employees following the verdict of George Floyd's murder in the U.S.
It’s been nearly a year since George Floyd’s murder in the U.S. and today, the jury has done its job in convicting Derek Chauvin for his murder. We need real reform as to how the police engage in communities around the nation, and this reform requires the cooperation of officers and other officials. Accountability is one step in the ongoing fight for racial justice and today’s verdict demonstrated the ability of our judicial system to serve that purpose.
That doesn’t mean the work is done.
We need not look to the events of last year to be reminded of the systemic change the U.S. needs. In the last week alone, we’ve witnessed the killings of Daunte Wright in Minnesota and Adam Toledo in Chicago at the hands of law enforcement officials. We need to put an end to the presumption of guilt and racial targeting throughout the U.S. Additionally, we need focused actions across our institutions through ongoing education, training for jobs and future upskilling, investing in diverse small-owned businesses and ensuring access to capital for diverse homeowners and franchise ownership.
What brings me hope is when a jury of our peers sees murder and racism for what it is. What brings me hope are actions like the 300+ CEOs alongside me who signed a petition advocating for voting rights for all Americans. The right to vote is the right to impact change and that includes the ability to enact police reforms across the country. What brings me hope, in times of triumph or disappointment, is our people and our duty – your relentless passion has made it clear what we stand for. We will continue to be a force to create change for society, deliver fact-based information and encourage others—within our firm and beyond—to step up.
My heart remains with the Floyd family today – we must all push forward and deliver on our duty to drive change.
Richard Edelman is CEO.