The following is a statement from Jody Levison-Johnson, president and CEO of The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities/Council on Accreditation (Alliance/COA) on the Derek Chauvin trial verdict of guilty on all three counts:

“The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and Council on Accreditation stand with our colleagues in Minneapolis and in communities across the country.

This verdict reflects the fact that our national reckoning on systemic racism in America is long overdue. Watching the Derek Chauvin trial unfold has been difficult for all Americans, and  for people of color who have lost another father, mother, son, or daughter at the hands of law enforcement, this tragedy, played out daily on our television screens, has been especially hard to bear. Systemic racism and implicit bias are infused across too many of the systems that should support people, resulting too often in harm to those they are meant to protect. While we  recognize the work that has taken place thus far to expand equity, diversity and inclusion, we must continue to build on it, and acknowledge that the road ahead of us is long, and that true systemic change is needed and required. We hope this verdict puts us on a path toward bringing about that needed change and healing.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made all of us aware of the fact that no one is fully immune to adversity or struggle. We know that people are resilient and by enabling all Americans to access supports, including the opportunity to earn a livable wage, live in safe, secure neighborhoods, have access to food security and health care; we can give everyone the opportunity to thrive and achieve well-being.

Let’s strengthen our commitment as a nation to realign our systems to better reflect the social determinants of health that create the context in which we live our daily lives and pledge to do better to ensure everyone can reach their full potential, regardless of where they live, the color of their skin, or their socioeconomic standing.”


About the Newly Merged Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and Council on Accreditation (COA)
The merged Alliance and COA and resulting new organization will convene and catalyze a dynamic, inclusive, multifaceted network of human/social services organizations that leverages the collective experience of the field and research to spark a current in the sector and drive continuous evolution and improvement. Our goal is to activate the power of the social sector and create a unified, intrepid, just, and purposeful network that propels our field forward so all people can thrive. The new organization will provide a range of offerings and learnings to actively shape the future of the sector through policy, advocacy, knowledge exchange, certification, accreditation, connection, and ongoing iterative and reflective interactions.