We pray for wisdom for those investigating Tony Robinson’s shooting, and for patience and forbearance on the part of the community as we await more information. We are grateful for the energy of the Young, Gifted, and Black Coalition in organizing protests and creating opportunities for dialogue, and for ensuring that all events are held in a peaceful and respectful manner.
When Wisconsin’s incarceration rate for black men is nearly twice the national average, something is terribly, systemically wrong. When Wisconsin ranks worst in the country in terms of child well-being for black children, something is terribly, systemically wrong. When more than half the children of color in Wisconsin live in poverty, something is terribly, systemically wrong.[i] As people of faith, committed to creating a more just and equitable society, we cannot stand silent while our neighbor bleeds. We must stand up and speak out against racism and violence and entrenched inequality.
As our community moves forward in the wake of this tragedy, Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice pledges to strengthen our connections with the Wisconsin NAACP, and the Young, Gifted, and Black Coalition. We pledge to educate our membership on the realities of what it means to be a person of color in Wisconsin. And we pledge to build bridges to communities of color, and to fight for policies that address systemic racism, that keep people in poverty, and that perpetuate gaps in health, education, employment and other measures of community well-being. Together, we can build a society that brings equality of opportunity to all our citizens.
[i] Statistics taken from Wisconsin Council on Children and Families Race to Equity Report, http://racetoequity.net/dev/wp-content/uploads/WCCF-R2E-Report.pdf