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Aiming for justice and change in the future through education

Since the death of George Floyd, former SOU men's soccer player Michael Miller has worked with friends to help educate others on the need for change in American society.

Posted: Apr 22, 2021 7:08 PM

ASHLAND, Ore. — The news spread quickly on Tuesday that Derek Chauvin had been found guilty on all counts in the death of George Floyd. For some, the moments before hearing the words "guilty" were tense.

"Honestly, I was kind of expecting the worst and expecting a different outcome," Michael Miller said Tuesday, recounting how he heard about the news from a customer at his workplace.

Miller, a former defender on the Southern Oregon University men's soccer team, was a leader during the Black Lives Matter protests in southern Oregon this past summer. He's been helping organize other initiatives as well, focusing on educating people on the need for sweeping changes in policing.

"I had those tough conversations, you know, and continue to try to lead and just be there for my peers and my community," Miller said. "It's been a hard year... but I'm always trying to find the positives and today's a good positive, it's a good step in the right direction."

But the news the jury had found the former Minneapolis police officer guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter wasn't a moment of "justice being served." Instead, it was more relief a police officer had been held accountable for the death of an unarmed Black person.

"I believe that if justice was served, you know, George Floyd would still be here," Miller said. "For justice to be served, I personally believe that the whole system needs to be restructured and looked at for the betterment of everyone. Not just black people, but other races as well."

Miller says he and a "band of brothers" are working to help educate people in the southern Oregon communities, giving people a first-hand look into their lives as Black Americans. Education, Miller says, is the first and most important step to producing actual, meaningful change in our society. He and his peers are using social media as a way to interact with people during the pandemic to keep pushing for more understanding in the community.

"If you kind of check in with that one person or that group of five and you keep giving them pointers and tips and education, I think that's the only way we can really solve the true issue here," Miller said. "Just a chain reaction of love and education would do wonders going forward."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 394569

Reported Deaths: 5243
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60720847
Washington42359405
Marion40153516
Clackamas33040387
Lane30428361
Jackson25105363
Deschutes23795189
Umatilla15144184
Linn14859183
Douglas13523293
Josephine10278247
Yamhill9840143
Klamath9112149
Polk8325102
Benton615338
Malheur593292
Coos5768109
Columbia438056
Jefferson424366
Lincoln365852
Crook343057
Union340756
Wasco318646
Clatsop263635
Baker221833
Tillamook218046
Hood River216537
Morrow197825
Curry193939
Harney121333
Grant109116
Lake105617
Wallowa76313
Sherman1933
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 5107717

Reported Deaths: 74800
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles153472027244
San Diego4091824350
Riverside3892365381
San Bernardino3762805983
Orange3352965756
Sacramento1690952452
Kern1582701828
Fresno1574692270
Santa Clara1528571928
Alameda1256281512
San Joaquin1080791835
Ventura1043091192
Contra Costa1042181056
Stanislaus919641429
Tulare867391100
San Francisco57141674
San Mateo56585631
Monterey52842626
Solano47828360
Santa Barbara47523555
Merced45309671
Sonoma43349414
Placer42458473
Imperial38932776
Kings35370367
San Luis Obispo31667360
Madera26388311
Shasta26221461
Butte25608318
Santa Cruz22402224
Yolo21722261
Marin18587249
El Dorado18448168
Sutter14646186
Napa13446106
Yuba1079891
Tehama10316131
Humboldt10294119
Nevada10112105
Mendocino864999
Lassen797656
San Benito787979
Tuolumne778491
Lake7057113
Amador580067
Siskiyou479657
Glenn458536
Calaveras445788
Del Norte377942
Colusa328321
Inyo257346
Plumas19577
Mono19034
Mariposa162218
Trinity100717
Modoc7936
Sierra2190
Unassigned1560
Alpine1080
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