How employers can prepare for a not guilty Derek Chauvin verdict

Look, I know what you’re thinking – “There’s no way this dude is getting off” – but let me just tell you as someone who hasn’t missed one minute of the trial, right now, anything is possible.

The rhetoric is the same; George Floyd was an intoxicated large black man who may have had super-strength against a small white officer who feared for his life therefore he kept his bony knee on his neck. It’s absurd; actually let me keep it all the way real… it’s a f**king joke.

I don’t need to spend the next 500 words pointing out how flawed the Defense’s narrative is because we all know the truth. If you’re interested in the Trial, @justiceforgeorgefloyd on Instagram has been sharing key highlights that you can revisit anytime.

I understand what’s on the line here and how the wrong outcome will affect the lives of black people so I thought that it’s important to begin preparations to provide us with the space we may need to heal. Being at work will be one huge distraction and the feeling of isolation will be magnified. In order for us to move forward together, it is worth taking some extra steps to ensure your employer acknowledges what may be a historic event and provide some accommodation during this difficult period.

As a driving member of my Firm’s Inclusion Committee, I highlighted to my employers the importance of preparing for and responding to a not guilty verdict. Listen, I’m with you, it’d better not be, but we’ve seen this before with Rodney King.

Regardless of if you sit in a D&I team or Committee, make sure you reach out to your employer and ask them “What do you plan to do for your black employees if this doesn’t turn out how we hope?”

I’ve drafted an email template that you can send to management which sets the right tone to address this potential outcome:

[Greeting line]

Following the surprising not guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin case, I wanted to reach out to you all, but especially to our black employees.

The death of George Floyd had a huge impact on many of us and started a global movement to improve race relations. I’m empathetic to the feelings evoked by this event and wanted to emphasise that we will continue to stand in solidarity with our black employees and the community at large.

The hard work will continue despite this verdict, however I acknowledge this represents more than just a case. Systemic racism has no place in our society and at [Company name] we will continue our commitment to create a more diverse and inclusive environment for all our employees.

I understand that this may be an incredibly stressful time for many staff, so I’d encourage you to [Add relevant call to action e.g. access to an Employee Assistance Programme (Add login credentials)] where you can access a number of support resources, or please contact our [Inclusion Committee – link to email address] who can also assist.

[Sign off]

Maia Niguel Hoskin covers this topic in her latest article for Forbes “What The Derek Chauvin Trial Verdict Might Mean For The Black Community And How Workplaces Can Begin Preparing For Either Outcome” 

Wishing us all justice. 

Sending light and love always

DiDi x 

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