We are outraged and saddened by the continued violence against Black people by the police. We watched the outcry for justice echo around the world and we heard it loudly in our own community. We saw many turn out for peaceful protests and some who were destructive. Through all of it, the pain and trauma of the toll of systemic racism for generations was evident. What was also evident was that people must be valued more than property and fixing broken systems a higher priority than fixing broken windows. We stand in solidarity with those who are speaking out against racism and systems that have oppressed Black and Brown people for centuries.
The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others continue to bring to light a reality that all people of color know; simply living your life in America can get you killed. There is much work to be done and the path forward will not be easy. But we must prevail.
The effects of racism and oppression are seen every day in Kent County through the significant disparities that Black and Brown individuals, children, and families face in our community.
However, Kent County can choose NOT to be a place where:
- One (1) in 6 Black children enter the homeless system in a year compared to 1 in 130 White children.
- Black families earn 47 cents for every dollar White families earn.
- Black babies are more than twice as likely to be born at a low birthweight as white babies.
- Students have a 2% chance of having an African American teacher and a 95% chance of having a White one.
- Black students are nearly six times more likely to be suspended at least once during a school year than their white classmates.
We stand with leaders who take decisive action toward equitable outcomes. We’ll fight for policies that end systemic oppression. We commit to elevate and amplify Black and Brown voices. KConnect will continue to illuminate disparities and dismantle systems that uphold these injustices. We will work to equip people with the tools and resources needed to take action as individuals, organizations, and systems in the work of dissolving the systemic problems that perpetuate oppression and white supremacy.
To the Black and Brown residents of Kent County: We hear you; We see you; We stand with you.