The Southwest Organizing Project, a broad-based organization representing 45 member institutions on the southwest side of Chicago, writes this letter in response to the recent murders of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, but also past murders of Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Laquan McDonald in Chicago and too many others. We recognize that the lack of trust between communities of color and the justice system were earned by long histories of police brutality and the oppression of our communities.
Many poor communities and communities of color face obstacles within American society, including housing insecurity, underfunded schooling, and repressive immigration policies. Yet, while our struggles have shared elements, they are not the same. Victims of police violence are more often members of our African American community. For allies who are non-black people of color, and white, who consider themselves purveyors of peace, justice, and equity, there remains a responsibility to stand with the African American community against police violence. Our support for the African American community should not stop at police violence. We must also address the anti-blackness that exists in our homes and neighborhoods. SWOP is committed to taking this work on within our organization and member institutions. We stand in solidarity with protesters in Minneapolis, and around the country, in their calls for swift and decisive change to the policing of our communities and the murdering of African Americans.