We mourn the killing of Patrick Lyoya by a Grand Rapids police officer. We join all those grieving for Mr. Lyoya’s family and friends and for our community. We have pledged to listen to and learn from the voices of outrage and suffering and to support organizations working to right longstanding injustices and to bring systemic change.
In this moment of grief, we seek to highlight and support the leadership of our grantee partners in the arduous work of dismantling systemic inequities still lingering in our community. Several organizations, including grantees, have put forth specific proposals to reform policing and law enforcement. We are committed to supporting effective civic engagement by front-line organizations in this effort.
We pledge to strengthen the Foundation’s support through its grants and investments of organizations working for concrete, systemic progress in racial justice including policing practices, opportunities for wealth creation, economic advancement, access to a healthy environment and community wellbeing. In addition to policy and systems reform, we are also committed to helping address the community trauma from this tragedy and from recurring instances of injustice.
There are many things about our community of which we are proud. But, we are ashamed of the continuing systematic racism and injustice so brutally illustrated by this tragedy. The tragic ending of Patrick Lyoya’s life must be an impetus for effective and lasting societal change.
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