Lily Eskelsen Garcia.
And as I say this, I know it seems right to be stunned and appalled. We want to be shocked, but honestly, are we?
How can we be shocked at what is routine? How can we pretend to be surprised at such callous cruelty by those charged with protecting and serving us when it has been an essential part of our American landscape since before our founding?
The senseless murder of George Floyd – a man whose life mattered – was the result of a country steeped in white supremacy. The loss of his life and so many others is a cause for grief and anger but also a cry for justice.
Our merged affiliate, Education Minnesota, reached out to NEA and AFT and we will coordinate our response and work with local and national organizations to move justice forward in this angry and betrayed community.
We are proud to offer our hearts and hands to bring any assistance that can help us take action, hold those in power accountable and to begin to heal. Unfortunately, we’ve been called on to do this work too many times before and this week proves that racial justice is still out of reach and our work continues.
But we are not deterred. We are determined. We stand with justice communities, unions, educators, parents, faith communities… we are not alone in this fight. We applaud Education Minnesota for leading in their state, and for being racial justice leaders
within our union. But we know that this is not only a local issue. It’s not only a state issue. It is a cancer on our nation, and we must stand together to find the cure.
We, as educators and public servants; as activists and neighbors will unite our members, our communities and our nation to demand that we live into our cherished poetry which has yet to realized: Justice for all. For All.
Below is a link to the statement we issued on Wednesday, Education Minnesota’s resource page, as well as a link to our EdJustice and other resources to help us help our students and communities.
In solidarity with Education Minnesota and the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, we encourage everyone to wear all black on Monday as part of our call to demand justice. You will be hearing more shortly about specific plans and opportunities to engage members and allies in demands for racial justice. For now, please know that we are speaking out, showing up and organizing for justice.