Following the conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, there is much to be grateful for. But there is little in the way of celebration or relief; nor should there be. 

There is no justice to be found when someone is murdered; only accountability. There are more funerals to be held and more trials ahead. There are systems to be examined and reworked.

As an architecture community, what is ours to do? It is to recognize and truly reckon with anti-Black bias within the systems of architecture; the systems related to the built environment and those related to the profession.

Inspired by the simple acts of courage displayed by bystanders and by jurors – selected by fate and through civic duty – we can carry forward from this moment the energy to perform our own acts of courage. To tell the truth about what we see. To hold ourselves and others accountable. To be partners in the work of transformation.

Achieving a just society didn’t become easier because of the Chauvin trial verdict; it just didn’t become harder. It provided just enough vindication and hope to help the living keep living, and to help those working for racial justice to keep on working.

Anna Pravinata, AIA, NOMA
AIA Minnesota President

Mary-Margaret Zindren
EVP/Executive Director, AIA Minnesota