Dismantling Systemic Racism and Prejudice - Say Their Names!
The Girls in the Lead team are saddened by the killing of black men and women, this time by the Minneapolis Police Department in the murder of George Floyd. We stand with the victims of racism, police brutality, and an unjust system, and stand against blatant and systemic racism. We will continue to call out injustice within our communities, we will continue to 'Say Their Names': George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Philando Castille, Sandra Bland, and we will continue to call for justice for all the countless others. We stand in solidarity with the Black communities in Minneapolis, Ferguson, New York, Los Angeles, and all over the world.
Women in Black Lives Matter (BLM) Movement
In 2013, three Black women organizers Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi created a Black-centered movement in response to the acquittal of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin’s murderer. The viral movement has now garnered a global network of about 40 chapters. The members organize and intervene in areas of violence toward Black communities. The BLM Movement includes women, queer, and transgender and center the leadership around them as there are significant gaps in recognition in past Black liberation movements.
As it developed throughout 2013 and 2014, it was utilized as a platform and organizing tool. After Mike Brown was murdered by Ferguson Police Officer in a matter of 15 days, the Black Lives Matter Ride was planned where over 600 people gathered to support the community in Ferguson and St. Louis and bring the message back to their homes. Now the BLM project has developed into a global network with the recent protests being seen in all 50 states in the US and in several countries around the world. The fight for justice and equity for all does not stop but continues every day.
Since 2013 there have protests calling for justice for the lives that have been taken too soon due to police brutality. This protest has gained a lot of momentum in a short amount of time and doesn’t seem like it will be letting up soon. This tragedy occurring right near the 3-month mark of a nationwide quarantine due to the COVID-19 outbreak is seemingly fueled by not only the long-awaited need for police reform but peoples’ restlessness after being inside. Although most businesses are beginning to open and universities are preparing for in-person fall, protestors are adorning masks and trying to maintain social distancing guidelines.
With worldwide outcry of the murder of George Floyd, the University of Minnesota and the Minneapolis Public School District has canceled their contracts with the Minneapolis Police Department, all 4 officers involved have been arrested, and the Minneapolis City Council has voted with a non-veto majority to begin disbanding the Minneapolis Police Department.
As a global network, Girls in the Lead calls on all sports and development programs to be aware of racial, gender, and sexual orientation discriminatory tendencies in their organizations. Now is the time to not only support the movement, It is also imperative we all review institutional, management, and operational policies, activities, and procedures to ensure we are not contributing to systemic racism, prejudiced, or complicit towards the pain and suffering of others, especially minority groups in the communities we serve.
Below is a collection of resources to help develop your involvement and solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement.
Donate to Organizations
By: Ola Adebayo, GIL Team Member