by Mame Keita, Facilitator-Coordinator These past two years have been very telling. The pandemic has exacerbated thus revealed entrenched issues within our society. From health to housing, to education and police brutality to just cite a few, the problems are glaring, acute, and widespread. These inequities demand our immediate collective attention and effort. The time to embrace the challenge of working towards equity is now, when our minds are still fresh, our hearts still bleeding and our anger is still burning strong enough to demand change from our institutions. Our institutions, from public to private, large to small, national or local, confronted with our communal outrage, promised us change. Many of them created compelling equity statements and declared publicly their commitment to equity, but that is not enough. The right, consistent and widely different actions are what will make those ideals a reality. Our community also needs to hold the institutions accountable to those promises if we want to see their realization. The work required is not easy and faced with challenging realities, attitudes can be those of the status quo, or worse, of regress. The justifications can be endless, lack of time, lack of money, unclear path, or just too much trouble until the next crisis. If we fail to work tirelessly to make the changes required, we will soon find ourselves facing the same problem over and over again and wondering why. The road towards equity is
Today we celebrate the verdict in the murder of George Floyd, but we do not celebrate the circumstances and systems that created an America in which this could occur. We acknowledge that, in many ways, Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdicts are too little, too late. Yet, we want to honor that today marks the first time in American history our judicial system has sent the message that Black Lives Matter and that police violence is not co-signed by all. Given the racist foundations of our nation's judicial system and governing laws, we realize that our society can only begin to imagine what accountability can and should look like. As Keith Ellison so clearly stated, “I would not call today’s verdict justice, however. Because justice implies true restoration. But it is accountability, which is the first step toward justice. And now the cause of justice is in your hands.” To our white community members, we ask you to continue disrupting racism in all forms, to grow into active co-conspirators, and to celebrate instances of Black joy and excellence as often as you highlight Black suffering. To our Black and brown community members, we offer you our continued solidarity and support. We will continue alongside you in the fight for meaningful change.
It is with both heavy hearts and righteous anger that we learned of the mass shooting in our own community at the FedEx facility. Too often, our nation is waking up, tuning in, and closing our eyes to news of gun violence. We reach out to those affected by this tragedy. We send love and light to them and the community at large. It is important that we acknowledge that our thoughts are not enough. Each time someone is killed by senseless gun violence it is a reminder that our systems are not working for a vast majority of our population. Action is necessary. Peace Learning Center stands with our community and will continue to advocate for change. #IndianapolisStrong