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Our Response: Justice for George Floyd & Systems Change

By Michelle Basham, YWCA Minneapolis President and CEO
June 5, 2020
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Our nation and community are still in the midst of a pandemic where we continue to see a disproportionate impact on communities of color, while feeling anger and uncertainty – but now also galvanized to create meaningful change – over the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers.

All four ex-officers have been arrested and charged in George Floyd’s murder and we applaud the launch of the civil rights investigation into the culture, policies and practices of the Minneapolis Police Department. But this is just the beginning.

Our community aches and we must work together to affect real and sustained change to dismantle systemic racism. YWCA Minneapolis is working in key ways to support our community and impact change.

We partnered with YWCA USA and YWCA St. Paul to issue a public statement condemning the police murder of George Floyd.

In partnership with YWCA St. Paul we are creating a process and opportunities for community healing and rebuilding; bringing our community together to reflect on this tragic event and have compassionate conversations about how to move forward. Join our Community Healing Vigil on June 30.

We are working with other nonprofit organizations and corporate partners to leverage our Midtown location as a resource for emergency food and basic supplies for community residents. This Wednesday was our first day distributing food and essentials. Thanks to the generosity of community members and partners, including The Sheridan Story, we provided 3,000 boxes of pre-packaged food and supplies to nearly 250 families! We look forward to continuing to provide this service for more families in our community through at least the end of July. Learn more about donating needed supplies for members of our community and volunteer opportunities. 

Modeled after It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race, we are working with 15, and counting, major Twin Cities corporations to launch a cross-corporate partnership to help companies develop individual and collective action plans to dismantle racism.

We are developing racial justice and equity training geared specifically for law enforcement. We have and continue to condemn the murder of George Floyd. It is tragic, it is wrong, and it is evidence of a pattern and practice of racist policies that must change. And while we have made the decision to not renew our contract or allow the Minneapolis Police Department to use any of our facilities for training, we have requested meetings with Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan, Mayor Frey and Chief of Police Arradondo to discuss how YWCA can support them to transform the culture and policing practices of the Minneapolis Police Department.

YWCA Minneapolis continues to be a leader in advancing racial equity work and we stand ready to assist law enforcement, organizations and individuals in doing the difficult work to bring about meaningful change.

Thank you for your continued support of our mission and our work.

Read YWCA USA‘s priorities for police accountability