Statement on the Conviction of Derek Chauvin and Our Collective Work Moving Forward from Acting Director Carol Spahn

April 21, 2021

“The world was watching on April 20 when the verdict was announced convicting Derek Chauvin of murder on all counts in the death of George Floyd. While the verdict is a critical step toward accountability and illuminates the possibility of hope, healing and justice, it does not bring back a life, nor does it alleviate the need for our nation to address its history of systemic racism.

“We recognize and stand with our colleagues, friends and loved ones who have disproportionately borne the weight of this oppression. You are not alone. You are valued as a member of our Peace Corps community.

“I recently shared with Peace Corps staff a message my dear friend EB O’Malley would say to Volunteers at pre-service training, ‘You have chosen to become part of an organization which is courageous enough to have the word ‘peace’ in its name. You are now called upon to seek peace from within and bring it into action, in thought, word and deed.’

“We must further commit ourselves to action when it comes to dismantling systemic racism and injustice. Peace Corps must address all forms of injustice as our collective work continues. And we must identify and address systemic racism with courage, and even more conviction, for a just and equitable world. I look forward to working together with you to fulfill our mission of world peace and friendship so that it can be felt by all.”

About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, community economic development, agriculture, the environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today's global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 240,000 Americans of all ages have served in 142 countries worldwide. For more information, visit peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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