Statement on the Chauvin Verdict

This week, we breathed a sigh of relief at the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd in the spring of 2020. That sigh was a privilege Floyd was never afforded when he had his life taken from him in broad daylight. The conviction represents what we hope is an important pivot toward meaningful police reform and racial justice in America.  

The conviction alone will not solve the persistent assault on Black lives by police let alone the scourge of structural racism in the US, however. That responsibility is on all of us moving forward, including companies like Geneva Global. As we spoke about in our Statement on Black Lives Matter in June 2020: 

“We can no longer remain silent on the murder of Black people—including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and centuries’ worth of others whose names we do and do not know—and America’s structural racism that has created hundreds of years of oppression and inequities that show up in all facets of society. We recognize silence makes us complicit in these systems built and centered on white supremacy’s values and culture.” 

Since Floyd’s murder and the national reckoning it catalyzed, Geneva Global has engaged in a company-wide series of discussions and reforms to better align ourselves and our work with our stated values of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. We are making changes to the way we recruit employeesdevelop talent pipelines; and invest proactively in relationships and networks from diverse communities. We recently completed a comprehensive survey across our entire team to better understand how comfortable, or not, we are when we come to this work and where we need to focus to ensure everyone at Geneva Global feels accepted, included, and heard within the company. We’re grateful to be working hand-in-glove with the experts at Grovider over the next 10 months to guide us along this journey. 

As a company, what comes next for us is further embedding these reforms and values into the work we do day to day with clients and partners. We will continue to speak out for justice, but clearly our most meaningful response must, and will, be to work proactively to advance justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion both in the U.S. and around the world. We’re both fortunate and challenged to work in the field of philanthropy, which can reflect the worst habits of privilege and reinforce power imbalances and prejudice

By recommitting to aligning our work with our values, we can and will make a tangible difference. Race is an artificial construct created to ensure the powerful retain power, and philanthropy has often been built on those same power disparities and structures. By pushing ourselves and the broader philanthropic community in a more just and equitable direction, we hope to make a difference.