Posted at 11:35h
Over the past four years it has been my pleasure to be a part of the Neighborhood Leadership Institute experience. NLI is a special place defined by working collectively, with the goal of building a better community. For those who are graduates of Neighborhood Leadership Cleveland, you are part of a network that has utilized this unifying, collective approach to build, and contribute to countless initiatives, organizations, events, etc. that have had a tremendous impact on our region. While a shared, unifying effort is key to reaching our goals as a community, and will remain so; we have to begin our work toward this goal with the reality that life simply does not present an equivalent set of challenges for everyone in our community.
On behalf of the Institute, I express our sadness concerning the death of George Floyd. He was the victim of an unjust act, and that act occurred in a system that far too often does not render justice in cases such as these. The video recordings of his treatment, and the subsequent protests that followed in our community and across the nation, remind us that horrific acts like this are impacting brown and black skinned citizens at an alarming rate.
The majority of individuals in this country have the luxury of relying on systems that they believe will work ultimately in their best interest. Unfortunately, African Americans and people of color have not experienced this luxury. Conversely, the weight of racial injustice is one that is too familiar to African-Americans, who for generations, have lived with the stark reality that systems - criminal justice, healthcare, education, etc. - have not only been structured to mete out results that are not in the best interest of our community, but have been weaponized to halt progress.
This latest incident of police brutality has stoked the flames that have been burning deep within us for decades. The Minneapolis officers’ actions were visibly clear,...