In Celebration of Juneteenth
The MNNP board of directors join with other Minnesotans and people around the world to take a stand against systems that uphold racism and inequality. Emotions have run high since the night of May 25th when a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, even as Floyd told him he couldn’t breathe, even after Floyd fell unconscious.
The widespread civil unrest that followed Floyd’s death erupted into riots and looting on May 28th, lasting for two days, mirroring past demonstrations of righteous anger that have happened throughout history. It has been 53 years since we have seen this level of civil unrest in Minneapolis when violent protests against police brutality erupted in North Minneapolis on July 19, 1967. Minnesota is one of the most disparate when it comes to racial divides in wealth and education. There has been a discussion about this problem for years without much action for reform. As Dr. King has been quoted saying: “In the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard, and what is it that America has failed to hear?”
Starting June 1st, 2020 neighbors gathered to clean up the streets and local artists painted murals on the boarded storefronts on Lake Street and Hennepin Avenue in Uptown Minneapolis. The messages honored Floyd and demanded change. hope began to flourish that enough people are willing to challenge this country’s foundation of white supremacy.
Today, MNNP celebrates Juneteeth and we commit to each other as friends, families, and neighbors to come together and listen and learn; to appreciate African American contributions to the progression of this country; and to build coalitions to better utilize our resources and to drive progress toward a system that offers all citizens equal footing and treats all people with dignity and respect, no matter the color of their skin.
This is the time for us to unite as professionals and participate in constructive efforts that can lead to the resolution of structural racism which will benefit all people.
Equality is the soul of liberty; there is, in fact, no liberty without it. -Frances Wright