April’s guilty-on-all-three-counts verdict for the murder of George Floyd brings some accountability and some justice, not only for George Floyd’s family, but for the countless unpunished murders of Black people—so many at the hands of police: Emmett Till, Fred Hampton, Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, Breonna Taylor, and Elijah McClain are just a few of the many black lives that have been taken from us. That so many sat on the edge of their seats during this trial, reliving this gruesome crime over and over, with wavering confidence of a just outcome, is an indication that the criminal justice system, like too many of our country’s systems, is incredibly flawed.  While we pause for just a moment to recognize the justice served yesterday, we must continue to build on it.

Last June, soon after Mr. Floyd’s murder, we shared this statement: “It is the duty of every person and organization who claims a commitment to equity to stand up where there is an injustice of any sort and work to alter those systems. The work is intertwined, and ULC is committing to dismantling oppressive systems and calling out racism as the biggest threat to this vision we hold.”

There are several ways we are making good on our commitments to dismantling injustice. We continue to secure land and support equitable development with permanently affordable housing in our region. Walnut Lofts and Sheridan Station Apartments are the two newest, and several more are in the pipeline currently. ULC is also supporting the Denver Foundation’s Black Resilience work in Colorado (BRIC) Fund by creating a $250,000 loan fund for Black-led nonprofits that need access to very inexpensive capital (1% to 1.5%) and up to five years. For more info, visit http://bit.ly/BRICLoans.

So much more is needed, and we continue the work, because as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said, “We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

In solidarity,

Aaron Miripol, President & CEO