More than 100 community leaders share letter about protests

This letter was sent to OnMilwaukee on late Sunday night:

The unrelenting pressure from structural and systemic racism is more than any person can be expected to endure. For a community, the consequences of oppression are corrosive, carcinogenic, and incendiary. The killing of George Floyd was the latest in a centuries long history of our precious lives cut short.

Across the nation, people have been pushed over the edge. Protests, public anger, and grief are the smoke, not the spark that led to the recent events.

Heinous and ongoing violence committed against our fathers and mothers, sons and daughters in the form of inadequate access to decent education, healthcare, work, and housing conflicts with our fundamental sense of humanity. This ethical contradiction cannot stand, and we will no longer endure it.

Just days ago, we launched "You Matter" as an affirmation to our community of their individual and collective value. You are important, you are loved, you matter. While this campaign was launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it's a message that transcends this virus.

As leaders of organizations that serve our communities, we are committed to attacking racism at the systems level. We're prepared to do this both individually and collectively to ensure our loved ones the basic, inalienable rights, and protections they deserve. "You Matter" is just the start.

We must strongly condemn the actions of those coopting the protests with destruction and violence. Their actions do not represent our demand for equity and opportunity. We are fighting for our lives, our health, and our prosperity because we matter. You matter.

(Signed)
Carl Wesley
Elmer Moore
Tammy Belton-Davis
Angela Adams
Deshea Agee
Devin Anderson
Rayna Andrews
Margaret Arney
Zandra Bailey
Rich Banks
Marquette Baylor
Diane Beckley
Cheryl Blue
Danielle Bly
Chris Boston
David Bowles
Marla Branaugh
Amanda Brooks
Nicole Brookshire
Chytania Brown
Sandye Brown
Valencia Brown
Larry Burton
Antonio Butts
James Causey
Robert Cherry
Venus Coates
Wendy Collins
Quinton Cotton
Lafayette Crump
Frank Cumberbatch
John Daniels
Bert Davis
Danae Davis
Mallory Davis
Natasha Dotson
Dafi Dyer
Muhibb Dyer
Genyne Edwards
Andre Lee Ellis
Sekuri Fears
Lauren Feaster
Noah Fenceroy
Christina Flowers
Deaudri Gales
Cecelia Gore
Damira Grady
Dionne Grayson
Selena Green
Dakota Hall
Eve M. Hall
Wendy Hamilton
Kenneth Harris, Jr.
Catina Harwell-Young
Derek Hawkins
Kalan Haywood
Anthony Higgins
Ashley Hines
Janel Hines
George Hinton
Jeremiah Holiday
Arnitta Holliman
Joe'Mar Hooper
Shanee' Jenkins
Bryon Johnson
Clarence Johnson
Jasmine Johnson
Matthew Johnson
Greer Jordan
Lyanne Jordan
Sherri Jordan
Kimberly Kane
Ericka Kelly
Rhonda Kelsey
Ossie Kendrix
Jeanette Kowalik
Michelle Lamarre
Mabell Lamb
Artis Landon
Julie Landry
Nick Lanier
Walter Lanier
Naryan Leazer
Ashley Lee
Greg Lewis
Monique Liston
Sean Lowe
Vincent Lyles
William Marshall
Ritchie Martin
Camille Mays
Melody McCurtis
Deborah McGriff
Tim McMurtry
Marilyn Miller
Jim Milner
Jeanette Mitchell
Wanda Montgomery
Heidi Moore
Reggie Moore
Michael Morgan
David Muhammad
Clint Myrick
Zacharia Nchinda
Cory Nettles
Kwabena Nixon
Devon Norwood
Lilliann Paine
Octavia Parker
Denise Patton
Gayle Peay
Amanda Porterfield
Nikki Purvis
Joshua Reed
Antonio Riley
Fred Royal
Marjorie Rucker
Darlene Russell
Dominique Samari
Craig Sanders
Jennifer Sevenich
Kim Shine
Shavonda Sisson
Al Smith
Robert Smith
Maggie Taylor
Kathy Thornton-Bias
Jay Tucker
Markasa Tucker
Simon Warren
Ranell Washington
Greg Wesley
Kamilah Williams-Kemp
Dana World-Patterson
Bethamie Wyatt
Lavelle Young

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