From Millie Tomidy-Pepper, executive director, YWCA of Genesee County:
We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of George Floyd, and to the larger Minneapolis and St. Paul community. YWCA continues to be outraged by the violence and deaths of people of color in America due to police brutality.
We at YWCA of Genesee County felt outrage following the death of George Floyd, a black man suffocated by a white police officer earlier this week. We send our condolences to the family and friends of George Floyd and also to the families of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor and to all communities of color.
We are also thinking of our sisters and brothers at YWCA Minneapolis and the whole Minneapolis-St. Paul community through this difficult and frightening time.
YWCA Minneapolis’ Midtown location, located in the heart of the area where George Floyd was murdered and the scene of current protests, alongside YWCA St. Paul have served the Twin Cities community for over 100 years. We stand together with the people that we serve and our community stakeholders to eliminate racism and empower women.
This work and our mission are at the core of what we do, and today we lift our collective voices to demand justice.
“George Floyd was one of ours," said Gaye Adams Massey, CEO, YWCA St. Paul. "He took advantage of a training program offered by YWCA St. Paul and, like many of those we partner with, he was taking steps to build a brighter future.
"The anger, anguish, and grief we are feeling in this community are real. And yet, we must channel those emotions into positive action that demands justice, drives change, and most importantly honors his memory."
“We condemn the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police Department officers," said Michelle Basham, MPA/ESQ, CEO/president, YWCA Minneapolis. "We have seen this tragedy before.
"Unfortunately, George Floyd is just one of countless other black lives lost to police violence, including that of Jamar Clark and Philando Castile. We must work toward racial justice. And we must work in partnership with others to hold our elected officials and law enforcement accountable.”
Together with YWCA Minneapolis and YWCA St. Paul, over 200 YWCAs across the country unite to answer the cry for justice, peace, and dignity for all. YWCA continues to call for dismantling systemic racism and equal protection and opportunity under the law through its public policy and advocacy work.
At YWCA, we demand a world of equity and human decency. We envision a world of opportunity. We commit ourselves to the work of racial justice.
We will get up and continue to do the work until injustice is rooted out, until institutions are transformed, until the world sees women, girls, and people of color the way we do: Equal. Powerful. Unstoppable.