PHDR Highlight: Dr. Aaron Corfield's Reflection on the Chauvin Trial Verdict

Aaron Corfield

Fellow Committee Members -

 
The Justice System worked today, but we still mourn the loss of the life of George Floyd. I just left George Floyd Memorial on 38th and Chicago and it was heartening to see all of the different faces in solemn respect for Mr. Floyd. One of the speakers said today:
 
"Justice is a clock and we are not late for our appointment." 
 
Mr. George Floyd has changed our community, our University, this country, and the world. Millions of people united during a pandemic to demand that a Black lives be valued, respected, and for justice to be served. And while we will never get the lives back that were taken, today's verdict shows the world that our collective voices will not be silenced and we will fight oppression in all of its forms. 
 
So, where do we go now?
 
The University Senate will be considering a demilitarization of UMPD on Thursday. Please read the resolution here: https://usenate.umn.edu/faculty-senate/faculty-senate-meeting-dockets-and-minutes under the 2020-21 Docket Materials tab. Then, contact the Medical School Senators here: https://usenate.umn.edu/faculty-senate/faculty-senate-senators
and demand action.
 
The US Senate is considering the Justice in Policing Act 2021. The Act is here https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/1280
 
If you live in Minneapolis, we have Mayoral and City Council elections on 11/2/21. When interacting with candidates, HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE for initiatives that further DEI goals. 
 
Continue learning. Sign up for newsletters like Anti Racism Daily at www.antiracismdaily.com
 
Advocate daily for patients, colleagues, and anyone around you. Normalize efforts to decentralize whiteness/maleness/cis-ness in our shared spaces. 
 
May is Asian-American and Pacific Islander Month. Get educated on systemic oppression of Asian-American and Pacific Islanders. Start here: https://www.urban.org/urban-wire/asian-americans-are-falling-through-cracks-data-representation-and-social-services
Read about the US colonization of Hawaii and other South Pacific islands.
Senator Hirono is the main sponsor for the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. 
Contact your House representative and request that they vote for this. 
 
Normalize talking about personal pronouns. It's a small step that can have a big effect on our patients. The trans community has been traumatized in the last few weeks. 
(Disclosure - my husband is a co-author of this Op Ed.)
 
And remember that we are in the holy month of Ramadan. Eid al Fitr starts sundown 5/12/21. Ramadan Mubarak!
 
We have a lot of work to do, but I am heartened about today's verdict. Let's keep up the work!
 
 
 
In Solidarity,
 
Aaron, Ravi, & Kumar