RICHMOND, Va. -- A local speaker who focuses on reconciliation is also processing the guilty verdict for Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd.
David M. Bailey, Executive Director of Arrabon, admits he was shocked, surprised, and relieved by Tuesday's verdict.
"I was about 11-years old when Rodney King happened. That has formed and shaped me. I remember talking to my uncle about how Emmett Till formed and shaped him. I think every generation of black people has had experiences where they could not trust the justice system to be equitable," said Bailey.
Bailey lives in Churchill, but he travels the country working with church leaders, equipping them and their communities with resources to help create change. He says the verdict shows that justice is possible, but there is more work to be done. Bailey believes building more equitable and holistic communities will require an even greater team effort with cross-culture conversations and collaborations.
"We are only 50-plus years into a problem that was over 300-years in the making, " said Bailey.
He calls Tuesday's decision a sign that justice is possible. But there needs to be deeper and more meaningful conversations about reform, policing-- and addressing the challenges that black communities face.
"If we don't start listening to one another, it's not going to get any better. If we don't start talking to one another it's not going to get better and if we don't have an imagination for something different it's not going to get better -- so I don't know what else can we do, but learn how to move forward together and come up with new and creative solutions to these deeply entrenched problems that we have," said Bailey
Bailey added the more people who are open and willing to participate in the necessary conversations-- the more progress we will make.