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Coming Together to Grieve, Heal and Enact Change

By Michelle Basham, YWCA Minneapolis President and CEO
June 26, 2020
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June 26, 2020

Say their names: Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Jamar Clark, Demarcus Semer, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Stephon Clark, Elijah McClain, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade and Rayshard Brooks. And these are just some of the names that may be familiar to us. But there are countless other Black Americans, whose names don’t make it to national news, who have been killed at the hands of police.

George Floyd community healing vigil

Yesterday marked one month since George Floyd’s horrific murder. We can’t let this moment pass. We must meet this moment to ensure immediate accountability for unjustified police violence against people of color; to ensure everyone is afforded equal protection under the law; and to end our nation’s history of systemic racism.

As a nation, we are grappling with the meanings of defunding the police and police reform. However, now is the time to stand up for true racial justice. Now is the time to invest in our communities, to reimagine public safety and to reform policing to ensure racially-biased murders and police brutality cease. Read YWCA USA‘s priorities for police accountability.

Our community has experienced trauma, pain and anger over the senseless murders of Black men and women. Join us for a Community Healing Vigil on June 30 to honor lives lost to police brutality and the trauma that events like the murder of George Floyd have on our communities.

Together with YWCA St. Paul, we are hosting simultaneous virtual events to give space for our community to grieve. Hear from community leaders and artists as we come together to collectively heal and enact change.

We must act now to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.

Thank you for standing up and standing with us.

Register for the Community Healing Vigil