In this moment, our Grand Rapids community is in a state of deep sorrow over the police killing of Patrick Lyoya, who was both a father and son. Our sentiments in this moment cannot begin and end with words. Our feelings and values must find expression through our shared active, daily commitment to dealing with the racism embedded in our social structures and policing strategies.
The path forward is one that combines racial healing and systems transformation. We must work together to heal from centuries of racism and its present-day consequences. We must build relationships based on trust, so that we can collectively envision a future beyond racism and reshape our systems to afford every child an equitable opportunity to live, thrive and have their parents and caregivers with them along the way.
Children deserve to grow up in communities where they can live, learn and play – safely and without fear. Children deserve to trust the institutions around them and feel confident about their futures. All of this is in our hands.