July 7, 2020
UNITE-LA is angry and sad over the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer — aided by the actions of three other officers. Mr. Floyd was murdered not because of anything he did or said, but because he was Black. This painful and dehumanizing act has been a catalyst for our organization to look internally and dedicate time to create a safe space for open dialogue with our staff about systemic racism and the myriad issues of anti-Black racism.
UNITE-LA was founded on and remains unwaveringly committed to fighting against inequities in our educational system, as well as addressing the deeper issues of money, power and privilege as they relate to structural racism and marginalization of certain populations.
There are items we want to immediately elevate that are first steps in the right direction. This includes:
- support of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors’ Responsible Policing and Use of Force reform motion, which outlines eight use of force reforms that have been shown to reduce the number of officer-involved killings.
- support of the State of California’s Assembly Constitutional Amendment 5 (ACA 5), authored by CA State Assembly member Shirley Weber. This legislation would repeal California's ban on affirmative action.
Additionally, in 2019, the L.A. Compact, of which UNITE-LA is the convener, began developing a set of commitments to advance equity, including the shared belief that “structural and institutional racism and classism must be dismantled, resources must be allocated, and strategies must be targeted in a way that advances equity of opportunity and educational outcomes.” As the Compact noted in their communication to partners, we need to push that even further – to hold each other accountable and prioritize this work, as we critically examine how our systems continue to create and perpetuate structural racism and inequality every day, and how to take effective action to fight this.
This is just a beginning. We are on a journey, similar to most of the world, to fundamentally challenge and eradicate systemic racism and its ongoing impact on the world we live in today. We are especially determined and committed to lead, support and collaborate with others to identify and solve for the root causes of racism. We welcome others to challenge us to ensure we do this and avoid being satisfied with limited solutions that don’t equal the measure and more permanently solve for the multi-century legacy of racism in our country. We also know this often needs to start with ourselves individually and as an organization.
We welcome and value being your partner. If you would like UNITE-LA to support your work in addressing Black Lives Matter and believe UNITE-LA is a good fit to support your efforts, we would love to hear from you. As well, we will keep you updated on our efforts.
President & CEO