The Urban League of Broward County offers our condolences to the police officers killed and wounded in Dallas last night following a peaceful demonstration triggered by this week’s officer-involved fatal shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights.
At the same time, we also offer our condolences to the Sterling and Castile families and to the families of officers who have to live with the pain and indignity of losing their loved ones to what appear to be senseless acts of violence.
Together, these incidents of violence – all of them horrific in their own ways -- have left communities angry and searching for answers on how to prevent more unnecessary bloodshed.
So what can be done to prevent more violence?
Let’s start with encouraging open and honest conversations – from the office suites to living rooms –about racial inequality across our diverse community.
We are calling on institutions like law enforcement agencies to dig deeper to address the racial biases and systemic oppression that have far too often resulted in deadly confrontations with black Americans. We are calling on parents and teachers to have critical conversations with their children about racism in the forms of individual prejudice and systems of unequal, institutionalized racial power. And we are calling on the community at large to take direct action this election year and to hold officials accountable once in office.
In addition, as National Urban League CEO Marc Morial explains, the issues of racial bias in policing, the justice system, and violence against members of minority communities can be resolved even further by leveling social and economic barriers that stand in the way of opportunity for struggling individuals and families.
Morial said: “The Urban League movement focuses to build inclusive communities that not only recognize African American humanity, but maximize the individual and collective contributions of all in our society. As we work to dismantle systems that humiliate, unjustly murder and continuously devalue black lives in America, our faith and works will be with the community as we strive to create sustainable change and improve upon the quality of life in our region and our nation.”
As we mourn the lives lost this week, the Urban League of Broward County calls upon the residents of our community and those elsewhere across our nation to express themselves peacefully and within the boundaries of the law. We also call upon local law enforcement officials at the highest levels to ensure that the work we do each day to educate and protect young African-American males does not go in vain. We must work together to address the critical issue of distrust between law enforcement and families in communities of color.
About the Urban League of Broward County
The Urban League of Broward County is a not for profit organization founded to empower communities and change lives. Our mission is to assist African Americans and other disenfranchised groups in the achievement of social and economic equality. Our “Breaking the Cycle” of poverty programs uplift more than 7,000 people every year through affordable housing initiatives, youth development and diversion, employment and training, community empowerment, and civic engagement. Learn more about the Urban League of Broward County by calling 954-584-0777 or visiting:www.ulbroward.org. Urban League of Broward County can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/ulbroward and on Twitter at @ULBroward.