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In the wake of George Floyd's murder, LISC Twin Cities is committed now, more than ever, to work hand-in-hand with the community to help heal, contribute to systemic change that will better serve community needs and help rebuild stronger neighborhoods. As one of the largest organizations supporting projects to revitalize and bring greater economic opportunity to the Twin Cities, we will work to help bring necessary resources to rebuild our community.
It is time to begin the process of healing. The Twin Cities are living through an unprecedented and tragic time. We saw the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of the police. We join protesters in the call for justice for the Floyd family, the Black community, and indigenous and people of color who have been wrongfully treated by the police. We commit to look internally into our own organization to make sure that we support and promote a strong culture of diversity, equity and inclusion. We will also reach out to our partners to work together to activate the necessary conversations in order to foster the healing process that is critical for our society to progress. We are ready to listen, find common ground, encourage understanding, and build the lines of communication, relationships and trust that are necessary for our communities to live and thrive together.
It is time to begin the process of making real change. Our region has enjoyed tremendous economic development and progress, but unfortunately, the benefits of such progress have not been enjoyed by everyone equally as we have some of the biggest racial disparities in the nation. We need to go back to the root and precipitating causes that have sparked the protests here and across the nation. We condemn police brutality and join the calls for criminal justice reform, so that communities of color can benefit from an equitable and fair justice system.
We believe that black lives matter. We will continue to work with our partners on specific actions that can help us reduce racial equity gaps and prevent more murders of black, indigenous, and people of color at the hands of the police in our communities. We are eager to work with leaders from all sectors:; public, private, non-profit, the criminal justice system, philanthropy and anyone with the potential to drive the change our communities rightfully demand, so we can address historic and systemic racism.
It is time to begin the process of rebuilding. In the past week, we witnessed the extensive destruction of property, which resulted in over 250 buildings and small businesses significantly vandalized or destroyed, in a matter of a few days. These properties included many small ethnic businesses, and critical community nonprofits that significantly enrich our communities. For several decades, the Twin Cities has grown because of the hard work and contributions from residents who have formed a connection to the neighborhoods where they have lived, worked, and played throughout their lives. These small businesses, nonprofits and properties are in areas where our partners and our team work together.
LISC Twin Cities was created and exists to forge resilient and inclusive areas of opportunity across America - great places where everyone can live, work, visit, do business, and raise families. We want to work with you and others to begin the process of rebuilding with active participation from small businesses, nonprofits, business districts and neighborhoods. This critical rebuilding process will occur from and with the community and will result in new forms of community ownership and control that could change the nature and permanency of small businesses and nonprofit institutions.
For over 30 years, LISC Twin Cities has been part of multiple major recovery efforts grounded in the community, and we are ready to continue to provide support in rebuilding the areas affected during this challenging time. With even more determination than ever at LISC Twin Cities, we stand for equity and justice for all communities, and we are ready to work with you and all of our partners to help with the healing, the changes, and the resources needed to begin rebuilding and strengthening our Twin Cities community together!
Peter McLaughlin, Executive Director, LISC Twin Cities