Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter April 20. This verdict offers a small glimmer of hope that we can live in a community where police are held accountable for harming and murdering Black and brown people.

However, this verdict will not bring murder victim George Floyd back. Our hearts are still broken over his death.

We thank all the advocates who have worked on the front line to tirelessly seek justice for Mr. Floyd and his family and friends. Although this feels like a victory in one sense, we continue to echo NASW’s national call for dramatic reform of the current police state in the United States. We must look at how white supremacy, imperialism, and capitalism compel us to fundamentally reshape community safety and protection for one another. We must invest in care and community.

If you have not yet read NASW Virginia’s statement on racial justice, equity, and equality, you’ll find it here.

To all Black social workers and members, please know that the chapter stands beside you in solidarity at this difficult time. As your professional home, we want to support you however you find meaningful, knowing full well that the social work profession must itself continue candid conversations about its own role in systemic racism. We know that looking within is as critical as working toward external change. We promise that we as a chapter and wider organization are working to do better.