“We are devastated at the despair, hurt, and anger that is being felt across our country, and our community. Words can’t describe the sickening pain of watching George Floyd dying on that video, the disgust and anger at watching a police officer defy his training and humanity, and the disbelief that three other officers made the decision to be complicit in his brutality. While we appreciate the fact that a majority of law enforcement officers are not representative of what we saw on that video, we are outraged by the continued violence and deaths of people of color in the United States at the hands of law enforcement.
Protests have been the backbone of civil rights gains. Agitators who incite violence mute the voice and message of progress and hurt the movement to achieve racial equity and eliminate racism. Violence is not the answer and must not be condoned, however as uncomfortable as it may be, we cannot look away right now from the pain of our African American brothers and sisters. We must take this opportunity to come to the table and work together to dismantle the systemic and institutional racism that is ingrained in our country.
We pray for a country, and a community, that is equitable and fully inclusive of all people; for a country that ensures peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. We share our greatest condolences for George Floyd, his family and friends. At YWCA we demand a world of equity and human decency. We must channel the emotions we are feeling today into positive action that demands justice and drives change, while honoring the memory of those lost.”
-Kris Kieper Machajewski, CEO, YWCA Northwestern Illinois