LETTER FROM CEO, SEAN SEGAL (APRIL 21, 2021)

“The verdict is but a piece of it. And it will not heal the pain that existed for generations, that has existed for generations among people who have experienced and first-hand witnessed what now a broader public is seeing because of smartphones and the ubiquity of our ability to videotape in real-time what is happening in front of our faces. And that is the reality of it.”  

– United States of America Vice President Kamala Harris 

Last night as work ended, my wife and I, like so many Americans, gathered to watch the news about the Derek Chauvin verdict. When it was said and done, we both had tears in our eyes. My daughters, 7 and 4, asked us what was wrong. 

We said, “nothing.” They said, “oh, happy tears?” We said, “not exactly.”

Although we will never be able to fully explain and describe justice, accountability, and race in America, we sat at our dining room table and tried. My wife and I watched their faces as waves of confusion washed over them. And, possibly, we watched a bit of innocence lost as they understood slightly more about our unequal society. 

And while my family has this conversation rooted in a place of immense privilege, I know for so many of my Black colleagues, our Generation students and alumni, and people around the country, this is no one-time dinner conversation, it’s a necessity, like teaching them how to tie their shoes or brush their teeth. 

Keep your hands on the wheel. 

Look straight ahead.

To our Black students, alumni, and colleagues, Generation USA reaffirms our pledge and promises to face these challenges head-on with a central tenet — racialized privilege is the barrier many of our students and alumni face. It is at the heart of all they confront and it is not their responsibility to fix it. 

To those of us who have the privilege of living without this constant fear and unrelenting pain, we have a responsibility to those who don’t. Tell the truths of the countless injustices of the scores of Black Americans for whom this country was built upon to your children. They are not too innocent to understand oppression. Reflect on your words and behaviors. They are equally important. Listen, deeply, to your Black colleagues, friends, neighbors, and community members. Reverse the patterns you see and hear with action. Acknowledge the role you play. 

Yesterday, we witnessed what should be the basics. A police officer in America can be accountable when they take the law into their own hands. But for the countless others who had no justice, how will we reconcile? 

In solidarity, 
Sean Segal
Generation USA CEO