For the past week, our Twin Cities community, the State of Minnesota, our nation, and indeed, the entire world has grieved the tragic death of George Floyd. From Addis Ababa to Auckland, Berlin to Beijing, Detroit to Dublin, Lagos to London, Mexico City to Montreal, Sao Paulo to Stockholm, and a multitude of locales around the globe, throngs of people have inundated the streets to raise their voices in unison with the citizens of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
The appalling events that transpired in South Minneapolis on the evening of May 25, 2020, are much too familiar a scene here and in cities throughout America. The soul of our community has been wounded and we are left psychologically scarred, emotionally traumatized, and righteously indignant. We seek comfort, demand justice, and want to heal. And, without question, we stand in solidarity with those in our neighborhoods that continue to endure injustice, inequality, violence, and systematic racism.
Although the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota has long ranked at or near the top for many quality of life indicators when compared to other major metro areas and all 50 states, our communities also suffer from some of the widest black/white gaps in the nation when it comes to employment, education, housing, and healthcare. These rampant disparities have only been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, that has deeply wounded the social, economic, and general health and wellness of African Americans, our indigenous populations, and other communities of color.
Sadly, however, our community’s structural inequities do not stop there as the incarceration rates among Minnesota’s racial and ethnic minorities far exceed those of the white population as does their general contact with the criminal justice system, including the disproportionate number of deaths of people of color at the hands of local law enforcement.
The triumph over racism, inequity, and intolerance is a monumental task that requires the participation of all of us, not merely in our speech and writings, but in tangible and meaningful action. And that is why the work we do in partnership with our neighbors at Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties is as vital as ever before. Once again, we send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of George Floyd, to the residents of the Twin Cities, to our larger Minnesota community, and those hurting everywhere during these unsettling and turbulent times.
In this moment of remembrance of George Floyd and the countless other victims of systemic racism—and in an attempt to better inform and shape the work of Community Action—we invite you our neighbors to share with us your thoughts about how we can continue to partner with people to improve our community through our many programs and services. Please feel free to contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.