Justice for George Floyd

Jun 5, 2020

All of us at The Richmond Neighborhood Center are saddened and angered by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, David McAtee, Ahmaud Arbery, and Sean Monterrosa. Their deaths at the hands of police and white supremacists are the latest in a long line of atrocities resulting from systemic anti-Black racism in the United States.

As a community organization that values equity and social justice, we stand with all people who have taken to the streets to demand change. This country was founded on white supremacy, and it will take hard work by every one of us to dismantle it. We believe this work begins with listening when our Black colleagues and participants report their experiences of injustice, and taking concrete action to address this as an organization and as a society.

We are incredibly proud of the youth organizers at the forefront of this movement, who have been leading demonstrations across the country and who just this week organized a march in the Mission District with more than 10,000 attendees. It is heartbreaking that our young people continue to experience police violence, and we support their efforts to resist it.

We commit to continuing and expanding our anti-racist work across all of our programs and within ourselves. White supremacy is perpetuated in countless ways—some large and structural, others small and personal. In our youth programs, in our community programs, and within the structures of our organization itself, we are working to fight racism in all its forms, and we acknowledge that we have not always done so successfully. However, we are willing to do the hard work in our commitment to antiracism to make our neighborhood, our city, our schools, and our organization safe and empowering spaces for everyone.

We demand justice for George Floyd and all victims of police violence throughout the country and here in San Francisco. We have seen the killers of Mario Woods, Alex Nieto, Amilcar Perez-Lopez, Luis Góngora Pat, Jessica Williams, and others walk free time and again. Enough is enough—they must be brought to justice.

We demand an end to police violence against protestors. People standing up against these horrific injustices should never be met with tear gas, rubber bullets, batons, and curfews that criminalize peaceful protest. It is our right to make our voices heard.

We call on our elected representatives to defund the police and sheriff’s departments here and all across the country. The murder of George Floyd made it clear that police training, body cameras, and incremental reforms are insufficient to change an inherently racist law enforcement system. We ask that SFUSD reinvest the funds used to support the School Resource Officer Program and immediately increase funding for school Black Student Unions, African American Parent Advisory Councils, and the African American Achievement & Leadership Initiative.

We encourage our supporters to donate to organizations working to protect Black lives and support protestors. Organizations that are funding bail and legal representation for protestors, working to defund police departments and redirect funding to education and social services, holding violent officers accountable, and Black-led community benefit organizations all need financial support to fight for these much needed reforms. We also strongly encourage you to support Black-owned businesses in your local community.

Black Lives Matter cannot simply be a slogan we repeat every time a Black person dies at the hands of police. We must commit ourselves and our community to anti-racist action every day of our lives. Our team has begun the process of developing a detailed plan of action, and we pledge to share it with the community as soon as it is complete.

We hope you will join us in this fight.

In Solidarity,
The Richmond Neighborhood Center Team

This statement was written collaboratively by The Richmond Neighborhood Center’s staff members.