Before we share a few thoughts, we want to make it clear we stand with our community as we mourn and seek justice for George Floyd. Black Lives Matter and criminal justice reform is long overdue, and broad institutional change is needed to address systemic racism and improve the lives of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) members of our community.
While addressing the stigma of incarceration and addiction has been at the core of our mission, we have much more work to do to address the entrenched racism in our own organization, our community, and our economy. The racism, anti-blackness, and inequity in our community and beyond cannot be ignored.
We hear white community members asking what they can do. Here are a few recommendations, which involve listening, learning, and joining Black-led initiatives:
– Require in-depth education and training to understand your privilege to ensure racial equity is centered in all work going forward
– Amplify messages from Black-led community organizations, philanthropists, and journalists
– Use your resources to support existing organizations and initiatives
– Spend your dollars with BIPOC-owned businesses and artists
– Join Minneapolis Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins in calling racism a public health emergency
– Research legislative responses and reforms for deadly-force incidents to the murder AND contact your Minnesota representatives
– Educate yourself on what a world without police could look like
We hope you will join us in seeing that everyone and everything has value in our community.