Statement from MINN Leadership on #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd

  • Posted on: 3 June 2020
  • By: minnesotangos

George Floyd should be alive. As a Minnesota-based community, the individuals who make up MINN have felt deep sadness and anger over the past week. We grieve and stand in solidarity with the Black community in Minnesota and those demonstrating worldwide to declare that Black lives matter.

Amidst the hardship and grief our community is experiencing, we have seen beautiful displays of peaceful protest and an outpouring of support. Many local organizations are working to fulfill basic, immediate needs and drive necessary, long-term changes to our racist and broken systems, and we want to honor and amplify their voices. We encourage you to learn about and support these organizations (see links and mission statements below):

  • Black Visions Collective: Black Visions Collective envisions a world in which ALL Black Lives Matter. We use the guidance and brilliance of our ancestors as well as the teachings of our own experiences to pursue our commitment to dismantling systems of oppression and violence. We are determined in our pursuit of dignity and equity for all. 

  • Reclaim The Block: Reclaim the Block began in 2018 and organizes Minneapolis community and city council members to move money from the police department into other areas of the city’s budget that truly promote community health and safety. We believe health, safety and resiliency exist without police of any kind. We organize around policies that strengthen community-led safety initiatives and reduce reliance on police departments. We do not believe that increased regulation of or public engagement with the police will lead to safer communities, as community testimony and documented police conduct suggest otherwise.

  • MPD150: A People's Project Reevaluating Policing: MPD150 is a participatory, horizontally-organized effort by local organizers, researchers, artists and activists. It is not the project of any organization. We stand on the shoulders of the work that many organizations have been doing for years and welcome the support of everyone who agrees with our approach. We hope that the process we are developing will help organizers in other cities to establish practical abolitionist strategies.

  • Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha: CTUL organizes low-wage workers from across the Twin Cities to develop leadership and educate one another to build power and lead the struggle for fair wages, better working conditions, basic respect, and a voice in our workplaces. CTUL is an organization of workers and for workers, committed to securing fair working conditions for present and future generations.

  • NAACP Minneapolis: The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.

  • Black Immigrant Collective:  We are an intentional space centering the lives of Black immigrants to: Build on our power toward our collective liberation; Highlight and make visible the impact of immigration policy and law enforcement on Black immigrants; Share best practices on immigrant related work in Black immigrant communities; Recognize our collective resilience and community resources as a way of being; and Work in solidarity with ALL Black people as well as other immigrant communities and indigenous peoples.

  • Racial Justice Network: The Racial Justice Network (RJN) is a multi-racial, grassroots organization, committed to fighting for racial justice and building bridges across racial, social, and economic lines.

  • Black Lives Matter: #BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.

  • Voices for Racial Justice: We are committed to building power through collective cultural & healing strategies for racial justice across Minnesota using organizing, leadership training, community policy & research.

There are also immediate ways you can help. Below are locally-organized fundraisers helping businesses and organizations affected by the events of this week, as well as a consolidated map of locations to volunteer or donate materials or money:

Finally, consider supporting the Floyd family directly through their Memorial Fund

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As demonstrated by the solidarity shown across the United States and internationally for the Minnesota protests, the need for anti-racism and systemic change extends across borders and across sectors. Like many US-based organizations within the field of international development, MINN is represented by majority-white board members, consultants, and volunteers. For MINN and the development sector as a whole, that is a problem that must be addressed. We have a lot of work ahead of us to decolonize development, as we were called to do by our 2019 Summit keynote speaker Stephanie Kimou. We are committed to having critical conversations around equity, justice, and systemic racism within our leadership and broader community. This will continue to be a focus of our annual Summit conferences, and the focus of our future Board of Directors meetings will be about next steps for MINN. 

The following resources on race and anti-racism, particularly in the development sector, have been helpful starting points for us. If you have other ideas on how MINN can better serve our whole community, we welcome you to share them with our Board Vice President Alyce Eaton at [email protected].

 

#BlackLivesMatter #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd