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NorthStar's statement on recent police violence and racist incidents across the United States

Wednesday June 3, 2020

By now you have heard, read and or seen video of the blatant injustice that occurred in Minneapolis on Memorial Day against George Floyd by Minneapolis PD. This is yet another unsettling example of police violence perpetrated against the African American community. Countless Black lives are taken at the hands of law enforcement and this fact is reflective of a culture that places no value on their lives or human dignity.

The wave of protests and sometimes violent clashes that have followed have engulfed the nation and the world as the power of people speak and demand to be heard. We stand with those outraged by Mr. Floyd's death and are deeply hurt by the ongoing violence and systemic oppression experienced by African American communities.

The NorthStar Clubhouse community continues to have ongoing dialogue to discuss how we can be educated and made aware of our personal biases and prejudices as well as ensuring policies and practices within our community to reflect our dedication to ending systemic oppression of Black communities, Indigenous people, and People of Color.

The mission of our organization is to work together with people with mental health issues so that they can thrive, and advocating for policies that support that goal - including justice reform. People with mental health issues are frustratingly over-represented in the justice system. Many people have been subjected to extremely adverse experiences due to structural oppression and related unwarranted encounters with police and the justice system. Such encounters leave lasting trauma and deepen mental health issues thus perpetuating a cycle.

Cultural and institutional racism will not disappear until we confront the systems that perpetuate them head on. We must continue to speak up and take action whenever we can. As a community that aims to be trauma-informed and inclusive, we will work to be better, and be better advocates of social justice.

Our deepest condolences go out to the humans who have been impacted by the cruel and senseless violence of oppressive systems in our country. We stand with our Black colleagues, community partners, and service recipients; your voices, lives, and messages matter.

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