For decades, African-Americans have been fighting against the oppression. Black Lives Matter is an international human rights movement, originating from within the African-American community, which campaigns against violence and systemic racism towards black people. The black Lives Matter movement began as a hashtag (#BlackLivesMatter) after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African-American teenager killed in Florida in July 2013. The movement became more widely known and popularized after two high-profile deaths in 2014 of unarmed African-American men (Eric Garner and Michael Brown). The problem is that neither of the police officers involved in their deaths were indicted. This injustice caused outrage among the black community. There were peaceful protests, riots, looting, and anger!
The most recent event that occurred, was the death of George Perry Floyd Jr. On May 25th, 2020 George was detained by police in Minneapolis. During the arrest, an officer knelt on George’s neck and back for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, leading to his death. The event of his arrest, death, and the actions of the officers not only caused civil unrest in the black community but the nation! People are calling for police reform and legislation to address perceived racial inequalities. They did so through protests, riots, and looting.
Because black people are being murdered and brutalized by police with near impunity, the Black Lives Matter movement is deemed necessary. The movement’s focus has been less about changing specific laws and more about fighting for a fundamental reordering of society wherein black lives are free from systematic dehumanization. At ACT, we strive for an all-inclusive community where everyone belongs, participates, and valued. With that being said, we stand in solidarity with the black community.
As noted in the Code of Ethics, ACT’s vision is an inclusive community where everyone belongs, participates and is valued.
ACT is an organization of diverse individuals possessing a variety of perspectives, identities and lived experiences.
The incidents over the past few weeks involving violence toward Black men and women in our country are devastating. We are disheartened by what has happened to Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Christian Cooper and George Floyd. While these incidents did not happen in our community, we know that many in our community are impacted, not just by recent events but by years of racism and injustice across our country.
The individuals, families and staff we support come from all walks of life and we are committed to fostering a culture of inclusivity and respect within our agency.
We align with the black community in the peaceful protests taking place across the country. We support all who are feeling the painful sting of systemic racism and marginalization. We categorically dismiss anyone or any system that discriminates against people, and recognize that a large part of our mission is to work to change those systems.
Please check back with us regularly as we share resources about this important issue.