Reflections on Trial Verdicts

As we head into the holidays, I am also reflecting on the recent trial verdicts in Kenosha, Wis., Charlottesville, Va., and Glynn County, Ga.

My first reflection is that Ahmaud Arbery should be with us this holiday season. Jacob Blake should be able to go on walks with his six children. Those killed while protesting against white supremacy in Charlottesville and for the sanctity of Black lives in Kenosha should be at dinner tables breaking bread with family and friends.

While jury verdicts in Charlottesville and Glynn County give a measure of accountability to those who chose or fomented violence, they in no way can bring back those lost lives.

My second reflection is that our policing and justice systems continue to be systemically racist. And while I am frequently disappointed in our justice system, I am not surprised that a racist system works in racist ways.

But when we see societal systems that disappoint us, I believe we need to dismantle them. And, as educators, I believe we should not shy away from educating our students on their place within this struggle. Whether they want to or not, our students inherit this legacy and they can be a part of the solution to dismantle it.

Finally, I’m reflecting on iMentor’s own work combatting an inequitable educational system. We are a system disrupter in our own work as we support increased equity and systemic justice. We must take action in our program and across iMentor to strengthen this commitment. As a community, we all have important work to do in the weeks and months ahead to support our students.