We join our Twin Cities neighbors in mourning George Floyd. We share the outrage at the injustice and inhumanity of his killing at the hands of police. We recognize the pain in the African American community, which endures injustice and inhumanity each and every day.
George Floyd’s life matters.
George Floyd’s killing is a symptom of the persistent institutional and systemic racism embedded in our way of life in Minnesota. And while it’s painful for some of us to admit, the history is absolutely clear.
Racial covenants on tens of thousands of Twin Cities homes prohibited people of color from living in wide swaths of our community. Redlining, used by lenders and promoted by our government, further tightened boundaries on where people of color could live and denied access to homeownership. Hundreds of Black-owned homes and businesses were bulldozed to build the interstates, which further segregated other parts of the city. And through it all, police brutality against African Americans was unrelenting.
And this is clear too: the systemic racism that created the disparities between Black and White families in Minnesota is the same systemic racism that killed George Floyd.
Yesterday, we shared this statement demanding justice for George Floyd. Here are some actions we urge you to take to bring about that justice, inspired by the resilient leaders of color in Minnesota who have been demanding justice since the beginning.
- First, call an elected official to demand swift justice. Contact Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, and the Minneapolis City Council and urge them to press charges against all four officers involved in the murder of George Floyd and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.
- Support George Floyd’s family and organizations on the ground. Donate to the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund, and learn more from Black Visions Collective, Reclaim the Block, and the Minnesota Freedom Fund.
- Learn the history. Resources like Mapping Prejudice, Voices of Rondo, and Jim Crow of the North shed light on the structural racism embedded into the fabric of the Twin Cities and explain how years of racist housing policies continue to impact us today.
- Talk to a friend. Don’t let this tragic incident of violence in our community fade into the background. Reach out to friends, family, and neighbors and have a conversation about the racism in our community that led to the murder of George Floyd and our resolve for building the equitable community that we want to see.
As a Habitat supporter, you care deeply about your community. You care about your neighbors. And you live out your values with your actions.
Join us now. Put your values into action to build a community where everyone can thrive.
Chris Coleman and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity