Two weeks ago, a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd with the help of three other officers. All four officers have since been charged with his murder. We have seen with our own eyes the callous nature of this crime and we join our community in demanding justice. We offer our sincere condolences to those who called Mr. Floyd father, brother, son, partner and friend. A family and community have been shattered and we grieve with them.
George Floyd’s death was an entirely unnecessary and avoidable act of violence. And yet, it is an act that has been repeated again and again.
The pattern of police brutality against Black and Brown men and women goes back decades and even centuries, as does the institutional and systemic racism that has plagued our country since its founding. The current push to reform policing in Minneapolis is a good place to start, but we must also acknowledge the larger system that perpetuates violence on and the disenfranchisement of Black and Brown communities. We must also look to ourselves, as racism is a disease and only we can be the cure.
As a foundation that focuses on North Minneapolis, a predominately Black and Brown community, we have made a commitment to addressing inequities and systemic racism through our grantmaking and connections to the community. We understand racial justice work to be intersectional—in which economic justice and educational justice are tied to the system of over-policing in Black and Brown neighborhoods. Today, as we have for the past number of years, we remain steadfast in our commitment to the Northside, and to our commitment to achieving equity by dismantling the racist practices that perpetuate the pervasive culture of racial discrimination.
We know that words are not enough, that our actions as a Foundation matter. To that end, we commit to:
- Supporting relief efforts in the communities most affected by the burning and destruction of businesses, organizations, and service providers.
- Supporting rebuilding and redevelopment efforts grounded in community design and ownership.
- Listening to our community to understand necessary and critical systemic reforms, and how we can best be supportive.
- Commencing the redevelopment of 927 West Broadway in North Minneapolis along with our partners TRI-Construction and NEW RULES Benefits Corporation
Watch for announcements in the coming weeks about these efforts. As we look to the future, there is much work to be done and this is just the beginning.
For over 75 years, we’ve been committed to improving lives in the Twin Cities and remain resolute in our in our mission to listen and help build an equitable, safe, just, and prosperous future for all.
The Jay & Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota
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