Statement Regarding the Death of George Floyd and Protests Across the Nation

The Chiefs for Change Board of Directors today issued the following statement on behalf of the membership.

We join millions of Americans in calling on officials to thoroughly investigate the death of George Floyd and to prosecute—to the full extent of the law—all who participated. We also recognize that the work we have to do as a nation goes far beyond one incident or one moment in time.

Sanctioning racism and racist violence, either by action or inaction, is wholly unacceptable and corrosive to our democracy. The fear in our communities has a pernicious, long-lasting effect on the lives and learning of the students we serve.

We support peaceful protest as it has long played an essential role in civic discourse and democratic progress in our nation. We encourage law enforcement officials to listen, empathize, and de-escalate. Many Chiefs for Change members have led the nation in implementing such practices in school discipline in partnership with their police departments. We know it can be done.

As we said in August 2017 in response to events in Charlottesville, Virginia, equivocation about racism is intolerable under any circumstance but especially from our top elected officials. We hope for and redouble our commitment to building a future in which all Americans share this belief.

Educating children and public schooling are critical dimensions of a more understanding, beneficent, just, and fair society. We must address urgent inequities in public safety and health care. Just as important, we must ensure students have equitable access to learning that challenges and feels relevant to them; to people and services that support their wellbeing; and to the resources they need to achieve their extraordinary promise, lead fulfilling lives, and contribute to a better world.