WISE is outraged by the brutal murder of yet another unarmed Black man by the hands of the police in a common scenario of racist policing. We offer our condolences to Daunte Wright’s family and hold them in our hearts as they begin to navigate this painful journey. WISE stands in solidarity with the Black community, especially in Minnesota at this time, and acknowledges the emotional burden and pain that comes along with this collective trauma. This is a particularly painful time as we just heard the verdict of the Chauvin trial and are simultaneously reeling and protesting another murder by the police. We need to acknowledge that this is a systemic issue and that the government has failed to provide justice and safety to the Black community especially, and also to everyone else brutalized by police violence.
This is the time where everyone should come together and use whatever resources they have, including privilege, to push back against police violence, qualified immunity, and the status quo. As most of us know, the history of the development of police was rooted in slavery as runaway slave patrols and we still see the criminalization of Black bodies and the police violence that is continuously perpetuated against the Black community. Some of our immigrant communities have escaped brutal government interactions, only to be welcomed with police brutality here in the U.S. WISE supports efforts to diverge resources to services and programs that will reduce police interaction with non-violent offenses and to utilize professionals for mental health crises. Too many times have we witnessed what was supposed to be police assisting the most vulnerable of us, end in murder and heartache.
WISE also condemns anti-Blackness and racism in all communities, even in our immigrant and refugee communities. WISE also acknowledges the intersectionality of marginalized identities and understands that individuals are dealing with many different oppressions simultaneously. Acknowledging that Black Lives Matter is the first step in building the empathy needed to stand with our Black brothers and sisters. Our humanness is what keeps us connected to each other and our uniqueness is what makes us stand out and special. WISE understands that it is not enough to not be a racist, but you must also be anti-racist. Be anti-racist amongst your friends, your families, your workplace, and in the community.
One of our core values at WISE is Social Justice and Advocacy in which WISE advocates for systems change that increases opportunities for all people to develop their unique potential and use their assets fully, to benefit themselves and contribute to society. When we value Black lives and speak against systemic oppression, we as WISE also see that as a movement to change and better the world for the immigrant and refugee women and girls we serve. When we imagine a better system, we are imagining it for all communities who will thrive and prosper. We understand that in this world there is a need for allyship and unity to dismantle the systems that are set up to keep us down, keep us oppressed, and keep us from being in solidarity with one another. We will continue to bring these conversations and important issues into our circle of women and girls so we can continue to build understanding, allyship, and support in the movement.
As members of Violence Free Minnesota, we want to share VFMN’s statement around the murder of Daunte Wright and pass along the important resources shared:
Violence Free Minnesota‘s Statement on Social Media:
“We are devastated at the murder of Daunte Wright by Brooklyn Center law enforcement on April 11. Daunte was 20 years old. He was a father. He was a son. He was a friend and neighbor. He was yet another Black man murdered by police in Minnesota. We hold Daunte Wright in heartbreak and in memory, alongside so many other Black, Brown, and Indigenous people murdered by law enforcement in our state and nation. The state has once again failed to preserve life and provide safety. To achieve our vision of a violence free Minnesota, we must dismantle the systems that perpetuate white supremacy, violence, and oppression. We must invest in communities left traumatized in their wake. In shared grief, Violence Free Minnesota and our member programs across the state will continue to work towards creating safe, caring communities free of violence. #BlackLivesMatter”
Resources and places to support
Black Therapists and other Mental Health Resources for the Diaspora in Minnesota:
Local, Black-led news sources, and independent media:
To support Daunte Wright’s family directly, donate at their GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/f/dauntes-funeral-and-burial-cost
Sahan Journal has other ways to help: https://sahanjournal.com/helping-out/how-to-help-brooklyn-center-daunte-wright/
How to Support Daunte Wright’s Family Following the 20-Year-Old’s Killing by Police: https://www.popsugar.com/news/how-to-support-daunte-wright-family-after-his-death-48267991
Read Springboard for the Arts latest newsletter to find more resources on other Black-led artist organizations and their Guaranteed Income for Artists Pilot program: https://mailchi.mp/springboardforthearts.org/springboard-newsletter-4-15-21?e=0e28ffe39b