The Derek Chauvin Trial: a message of solidarity from Headwaters

March 3, 2021
Dear Community,

We are about to witness the murder trial of the former police officer who is charged in George Floyd’s death. When the trial starts next Monday, we want everyone—especially the Floyd family and our South Minneapolis community—to know that Headwaters is here with you in our ongoing movement for justice and Black liberation. 

There is no comfort in waiting for racist murderers and officers who unjustly kill citizens to be held accountable. There wasn’t any when Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Jamar Clark, and Elijah McClain were murdered. Or when Philando Castile and Jacob Blake were shot in front of their children. Or when, exactly thirty years ago today, Rodney King was struck with police batons and shocked with a stun gun. And here we are today, waiting in discomfort yet again. 

We wait for a former officer—one who has been involved in several shootings during his career—to be charged with second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter. We wait for the other three officers to go on trial later this summer. Whatever the verdicts end up being, nothing can change the fact that justice comes from the people leading the long, slow work of liberation. Headwaters is honored to support the organizations leading this work going into this trial. We will be there to support you after the trial, over the long haul.

Today, while we wait, we invite you to consider the following:

Continue to Invest…
Last summer many of you stepped up to invest in The Transformation Fund (TTF). We built the rapid response fund to channel local and national dollars toward BIPOC-led work that builds lasting power in our community. Right now, we’re in phase two of TTF grantmaking, investing three-year commitments to organizations doing frontline work. We aren’t accepting TTF donations any longer, but you can still make a direct donation to Headwaters to support BIPOC-led movement organizations across Minnesota.

Right now at Headwaters, 20 participants who are in this year’s virtual Giving Project are engaging deeply in donor organizing work for BIPOC-led movements. Their leadership will result in even more investments in systems change organizing. Stay tuned to learn about their fundraising and grantmaking efforts. Stay connected to Headwaters on social media as the trial begins to learn about the voices, organizations, and funds you can donate to.

Continue to be Engaged…

  • Sign The People’s Petition and influence the future of policing in Minneapolis. 
  • Visit George Floyd Square at 38th Street and Chicago Avenue to find community, art, and healing spaces. 

Continue to prioritize Self-Care…

  • If you plan to watch the trial, take breaks to give your mental health and nerves some love.
  • Practice deep breathing, meditation, or prayer to stay centered.
  • Check in with your people: reach out and connect with each other virtually.
  • Resource yourself: drink plenty of water, rest, breathe fresh air, be safely in community with neighbors and friends, and call on ancestors for strength.
  • Allow yourself to lean into moments of joy.

Headwaters is with you and we’re thankful that you’re here with us. Take care of yourselves and each other because we need you to build towards the just future we want and deserve.

In Radical Solidarity,
Everyone at Headwaters