I am a former member of the PBI group and the owner of this page. I hope you don’t mind that I am posting this information from your sister-state, Minnesota. I am sharing a letter from one of my teammates in my organization. Lightly edited for context.
Like many of you, I’m frustrated and deeply saddened by what I’m seeing and hearing on the news about our city. While Minnesota is progressive in many ways, its clear our institutions, our people, ourselves have a lot of work to do to make black and brown bodies feel safe and be safe. The horrific scenes that have played out this week—of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of police officers, of tear gas and rubber bullets being thrown at protesters in areas that many of us call home—are incredibly difficult to witness and are certainly nothing new, which is disheartening. I can only imagine the heavy sadness felt by our communities of color.
It’s easy to be paralyzed and to lean towards inaction, but I encourage everyone to take action. Below are a few things I’ve rounded up from varying sources which can be used to take steps forward.
Ways to take action now:
Make a Call to 612-324-4499
This is a hotline to call that connects you with multiple officials from the City of Minneapolis (this is an aggregate hotline; after each message you leave, or call you make, you press * to be transferred to the next number). It took me just shy of 40 minutes to get through it all; many mailboxes were full, but I moved on to the next one. One of our colleagues shared some key messaging that you can draw from.
Thank you for your support of swift action against the 4 officers present at and participatory in the murder of George Floyd.
My follow-up questions are:
What concrete steps will Minneapolis take next to protect the lives of our black citizens?
What concrete steps will Minneapolis take to train, retrain, and vet police force officers to stop unnecessary and racist physical violence?
What concrete steps will Minneapolis take to ensure perpetrators of violence on our police force are severely punished including processes for automatic termination?
What concrete steps will Minneapolis take to ensure that no more of our black citizens die by the hand of law enforcement?
Please know that I am deeply concerned about the state of my black neighbors’ safety.
Lend your support
If you’re able, support groups helping support BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color):
Dive into the work that is challenging, that makes you reexamine your own varying levels of privilege, and that helps you be a better ally and community member.
Confronting White Supremacy (in the workplace, but everywhere really…)
credit // Pollen
What White People Can do for Racial Justice
shared by // EK
This is by NO means a comprehensive or exhaustive list, but I hope it’s helpful as we continue to process what is happening in our community. I’ll leave you all with an excerpt from the article KH posted:
“This painful disorientation, destabilization, and confusion [as we begin to dismantle our own privilege] is actually a normal part of the healing journey of becoming socially conscious. We live in a society built on a foundation of systemic oppression, particularly white supremacy, patriarchy, and exploitative capitalism. In order to keep us in the system – enduring and perpetuating it even when it hurts us, we’ve been unconsciously conditioned to believe that the world it created is the only world we can live in.”
I promise you, with work, this is not the only world we can inhabit.