On September 23rd, it was announced that a Kentucky grand jury brought no charges against the officers in the murder of Breonna Taylor and charges against only one officer for wanton endangerment related to her white neighbors. This decision is another example of the absolute injustice that leaves so many of us feeling devastated by a system that has repeatedly failed Black people, especially Black women, through valuing property over lives. These decisions have become all too familiar and inflict a pain that runs deep. Black people in this country are constantly seeking justice from a nation that refuses to acknowledge that their lives matter. Specifically, Black women are too often seen as collateral damage that draws little publicity and renders these women invisible to the intersectional injustices they face as women of color.
We say “no more” while acknowledging the unfortunate truth that Miss Taylor is not the first and will not be the last—she is one in a long list of Black people murdered by an institution legally and financially charged with protecting them.
The Racial Equity Rapid Response Team of Chicago recognizes the urgency of the work of dismantling the structures and policies that protect and cement injustice and racism in our systems. Led by our group of community leaders, we commit to:
- Occupy a safe and healing space by hosting a series of events in our respective communities to uplift and promote healing for our people who experience re-traumatization after each one of these occurrences
- Align on ways we can collectively challenge longstanding policies that allow for these racist, unjust, and inequitable occurrences to persist in our communities
- Create solutions to shift existing resources and align future investments where needed to eliminate longstanding and systemic inequities in Black and Brown communities in Chicago
- Engage, educate, and empower Black and Brown people in Chicago to use their collective power to shift the paradigms that have for too long allowed our fellow citizens to stand by while our communities suffer
Working together with our partners, the Racial Equity Rapid Response Team will begin to build a foundation for the work needed to address longstanding and systemic health, economic, and social inequities in Black and Brown communities in Chicago.