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Statement from North Minneapolis Nonprofits

November 20th, 2015

As community resources and partners, we stand together to acknowledge the homicide of Jamar Clark in North Minneapolis last weekend. To not recognize the heightened, palpable anxiety, frustration, anger, and agitation in our community right now would be inauthentic. The gravity of the situation is very real and apparent.

First and foremost, our hearts go out to the family and friends of Mr. Clark, our community of friends, neighbors, and police officers. We are saddened and concerned by the tragic escalation of events which happened in close proximity to our offices and homes. We live and work in North Minneapolis. We are deeply embedded in the community. We are residents, family members, community leaders, and allies and we want to acknowledge what we do know.

The facts are that there are large gaps. Achievement gaps, home-ownership gaps, wealth gaps, employment gaps, and incarceration rate gaps (to name a few)… all traced along racial lines. The fact is that there are documented patterns of inequity in policing, police brutality, and conviction rates. The fact is that a man was shot. The fact is that this man was shot by a police officer. The fact is that the witnesses and the police disagree on some important details surrounding Jamar Clark’s death. The fact is that we have an increasing erosion of trust regarding transparency and due process.

As community organizations, it is our responsibility to listen to and acknowledge all community voices in this situation.

As sources of community connection, we will continue to listen. We will continue to work. We will continue to embrace the complexities and tensions within our community. We will continue to respect each other and take one another seriously. We believe that the voices in our community could break ground and lead toward equitable systematic change. We will not be an echo of mistakes from the past, but will lead efforts toward a better way where maybe, just maybe, more days are dignified, more lives are liberated and more historically-tense relationships are reconciled.

Going forward, we want to ensure the safety of all the people that live and work around our centers, offices and homes. We will continue to advocate for our community, offer support for the families of Mr. Clark and the protesters, work alongside our police department, and remain vigilant in our pride for our community.

Chanda Smith Baker
President & CEO
Pillsbury United Communities 
  Chad Schwitters
Executive Director
Urban Homeworks 
Stella Whitney West
CEO
NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center
  Dan Cain
President
RS Eden
Matt Halley
Executive Director
Cookie Cart
  Deborah Loon
Executive Director
Avenues for Homeless Youth
Mike Wynne
President & CEO
EMERGE
  Sondra Samuels
Executive Director
Northside Achievement Zone
Tawanna A. Black
Executive Director
Northside Funders Group
  Marcus Owens
Executive Director
NEON
Scott Ginn
Executive Director
Antioch North
  David McGee
Executive Director
Build Wealth Minnesota, Inc.
Brian Mogren
Executive Director
Alafia Foundation
  Jeff Washburne
Executive Director
City of Lakes Community Land Trust
Barbara Milon
Executive Director
Phyllis Wheatley Community Center
  Molly Greenman
President and CEO
The Family Partnership
Vincent "Peter" Hayden, PhD
President & CEO
Turning Point, Inc.
 

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