The unrelenting pressure from structural and systemic racism is more than any person can be expected to endure. For a community, the consequences of oppression are corrosive, carcinogenic, and incendiary.
The killing of George Floyd was the latest in a centuries-long history of our precious lives cut short.
Across the nation, people have been pushed over the edge. Protests, public anger, and grief are the smoke, not the spark that led to the recent events.
Heinous and ongoing violence committed against our fathers and mothers, sons and daughters in the form of inadequate access to decent education, healthcare, work, and housing conflicts with our fundamental sense of humanity. This ethical contradiction cannot stand, and we will no longer endure it.
Just days ago, we launched “You Matter” as an affirmation to our community of their individual and collective value. You are important, you are loved, you matter.
While this campaign was launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a message that transcends this virus.
As leaders of organizations that serve our communities, we are committed to attacking racism at the systems level. We’re prepared to do this both individually and collectively to ensure our loved ones the basic, inalienable rights, and protections they deserve.
“You Matter” is just the start.
We must strongly condemn the actions of those co-opting the protests with destruction and violence. Their actions do not represent our demand for equity and opportunity. We are fighting for our lives, our health, and our prosperity because we matter.
Andre Lee Ellis
Eve M. Hall
Kenneth Harris, Jr.
Update: 3:25 p.m.
After we published the original letter given to WTMJ, four individuals have come forward saying they did not sign that letter. We have removed their names.