Part of the Land Stewardship Project’s mission is to develop healthy communities for everyone, no exceptions. Racist violence is a clear violation of our strongly held belief that every person has value that cannot be earned or taken away. At the core of LSP’s work is our drive to create a society based on sustainability. Racism, along with the violence it spawns, is not sustainable. To see someone’s life held in such disregard is unacceptable and harms us all. We must continue to demand changes and call for accountability.
As the Minnesota Legislature reconvenes this week, we ask that you take action by contacting your state legislators and telling them to support public safety reforms championed by our allied organizations and the Minnesota Legislature’s People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Caucus.
When George Floyd, a Black man, was murdered in police custody a few blocks from LSP’s Minneapolis office, we were shocked, saddened, and outraged. Video footage showed a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for several minutes after he was apprehended for allegedly committing a non-violent offense. Other officers assisted in restraining Floyd and another stood by watching. Despite Floyd’s protests that he could not breathe, the police officer continued to press down on his neck and he eventually became unresponsive. George Floyd was later pronounced dead.
This is yet another sickening example of how deadly racism is in America. The role of police officers and other public servants is to make our communities safer for everyone, whether they are Black, brown, indigenous, or white. But we know that institutional racism is ingrained in all of our institutions, and it has claimed yet another victim.
We join our allies in calling for accountability and structural change within institutions, decision-making bodies, and communities across our state, region, and country.
We need change and we need justice now.
Achieving structural change and justice begins with standing together, walking alongside each other, and lifting up our voices to express outrage and to demand a new status quo — and it’s working. Over the past few weeks, all four officers involved have been arrested, Governor Tim Walz has asked Attorney General Keith Ellison to join the case as a prosecutor, and reforms are gaining momentum from the local level to the federal level. Together, right now, we must keep pushing for transformation by acting in solidarity with our Black community and supporting organizations led by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) doing on-the-ground work.
Take just two minutes to urge your state legislators to support institutional reforms championed by our BIPOC allies and the Minnesota Legislature’s People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Caucus. Minnesota Senate leadership has blocked each bill introduced by our organizational allies and POCI legislators. As lawmakers reconvene this week, Minnesotans must make it clear that bold, structural reforms are needed NOW.
In addition, you can:
- Read “Leveling the Fields: Creating Farming Opportunities for Black People, Indigenous People, and Other People of Color,” a policy brief that outlines how systemic, historical, and ongoing white supremacy hurts BIPOC farmers.
- Sign up to subscribe to LSP’s Amplify!, our e-letter featuring updates, action items, and resources for Land Stewardship Project leaders engaging in racial justice work in their communities.