Black Lives Matter: A Message from MAG

Community members gather outside the Governor's Residence in Saint Paul, Minnesota on July 7, 2016. Image by Tony Webster | CC BY-SA 2.0

Community members gather outside the Governor's Residence in Saint Paul, Minnesota on July 7, 2016. Image by Tony Webster | CC BY-SA 2.0

Our hearts are filled with sadness, rage, despair, and anger, to name a few feelings we have all felt in the last week. Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Alva Braziel, and Delrawn Small were murdered at the hands of police. We say their names. Their names are added to the list of thousands of other black and brown people of all genders killed by the police - whose names have been made into hashtags, whose families grieve, whose communities are rising up. As our friend and colleague, Adrienne Maree Brown said, “things are not getting worse, they are getting uncovered. we must hold each other tight & continue to pull back the veil.”

We must pull back the veil on white privilege, on the systemic racism that this country is built on, on the dehumanization of black people and other people of color. We must make real change - not small bits of incremental change - but real change, big change, change that ruptures and buries this system. So that it does not bury more people. Because Black Lives Matter.

We feel deep compassion for the five slain Dallas police officers and appreciate the leadership of Police Chief David Brown. As President Obama said, “Can we find the character, as Americans, to open our hearts to each other? Can we see in each other a common humanity and a shared dignity, and recognize how our different experiences have shaped us?”

We know that Black Lives Matter and we know that justice, dignity, and peace will only come if we stand up and act with love at our core. As our friend and colleague Taj James, wrote “hope [is] born from its demise.” So our hearts are also filled with hope – with love.

Black Lives Matter.

- Management Assistance Group Board and Staff

[A]s i arise from my hopelessness and despair
pulled from below by the love of community
i begin to remember things feel so hopeless
because we have reached the point
where we have no other options
but to transform it all
all together
all at once
the only point from which
genuine hope
can sprout
flower
blossom
and bear
the sweetest of fruits
— Taj James, July 8, 2016
 
Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.
— Arundhati Roy