As a mother and grandmother of black children, I fear the world may not see them as I do.
I fear the world does not look at my children and grandchildren as brilliant, compassionate, humorous, creative, God-fearing, sensitive, athletic and kind.
It pains me to know I am not alone in this fear.
I am fully cognizant that mothers, fathers and extended family members who are raising children of color have had to facilitate “the talk” and consistently follow up with reminders that you wish you never had to think about let alone repeatedly verbalize.
My heart and the hearts of those who share in this struggle are repeatedly broken for the countless number of people of color who have been violently and needlessly taken from us because of structural racism and the indifference it can cause to human life wrapped in black and brown flesh.
There are names we know, such as Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Atatiana Jefferson, Botham Jean, Jordan Edwards, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, Walter Scott, Tony Terrell Robinson, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown Jr., John Crawford III, Eric Garner, Dontre Hamilton, Trayvon Benjamin Martin, Aiyana Stanley-Jones and Oscar Grant III.
We also pause to acknowledge that there are precious souls that were lost without the benefit of national news coverage or the complicated existence of a video recording.
As the leader of a nonprofit organization with the mission of ending racism and empowering women, I feel the weight of the enormous responsibility that our powerful mission carries.
YWCA Rock County joins with the YWCA USA and over 200 YWCAs across the country in offering our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of George Floyd. We think of George Floyd’s family and friends as they prepare to honor him in Minneapolis and lay him to rest in Houston.
Mr. Floyd is a son of Texas, and now his memory will live on through countless individuals throughout the world that have been forever changed by his death. Many of us never knew him but now we can never forget him.
The gross display of excessive force that ended the life of George Floyd has sparked a powder keg of pain and exhaustion that results from the deepening generational disparities in health, wealth, education, housing and numerous other metrics. The unrest should not be ignored.
Let me be clear, I do not condone violence or rioting. I am a strong supporter of the right of the people to join in peaceful protest and the mobilization of talent that leads to strategic planning and a commitment to engaging in work that results in tangible positive outcomes.
We must recommit ourselves to demanding better from the institutions that serve us.
We are fortunate in Rock County to have law enforcement agencies that demonstrate an ongoing interest in partnering with our community, which includes the YWCA Rock County.
We look forward to strengthening our partnership, as we remain vigilant in planning next steps that will advance the cause of eliminating racism and empowering women.