White supremacy is real.
White supremacy murdered George Floyd. White supremacy murdered Jamar Clark, Philando Castille, and many more Black individuals in Minnesota whose names we will never know. The 9-minute video doesn’t just feature a rogue officer acting out of malice. It’s not an isolated incident. It is just more proof of what Black people have been trying to tell the general public for many years: the systems that we have created in this country, from our government to our workplace to our neighborhoods, were built intentionally to exclude, silence and erase Black, Indigenous and People of Color.
It’s not just policing.
It’s everything from our workplace leadership, cultures, and norms to our elected officials, laws, and policies. We’ve had almost two weeks to process this, so now what? Where do we even start?
I’m going to start at work. These pervasive systems have created workspaces that also intentionally exclude BIPOC, from lack of representation in leadership to excuses why making a commitment to equity is too hard to accomplish in Minnesota.
We can do better. We will do better.
We set out three years ago to enable employment equity for the LGBTQ community. Through engaging in this work, it is very clear that the white majority in the Queer community forgot that the first Pride was a riot against police brutality. A riot that was led by Black and Brown transgender individuals. We will never fulfill our mission until People of Color in the LGBTQ community experience the same level of freedom and opportunity that their White counterparts have. Minnesota leads the nation in economic disparities between White and Black families and with the Black transgender community experiencing unemployment at 4x the national average, it’s never been more obvious that we have a lot to do.
Here’s where we are going to start holding ourselves accountable.
We will hold our partners and sponsors accountable, too. With our conferences, events, training, and consulting work, we will advocate for our partners and sponsors to make tangible progress on:
In conclusion, we stand in solidarity with the Black community. We will remain in solidarity knowing that the path to justice will be messy, challenging while rarely easy, fast, or convenient. We will not be silent.