Lyn-CAG Current Events:
Lynchburg Community Action Group’s Statement of Reflection on Current Events
The Board of Directors and Executive leadership of Lynchburg Community Action Group (Lyn-CAG), expresses its devastation over the events that led to the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 by a Minneapolis, Minnesota police officer. It is appalling that systemic racism and inequality have cultivated an environment of oppression that led to the murder of an African American man in broad daylight. Also appalling is the fact that three other officers participated in this act by showing disregard for human life and by allowing their fellow officer to inflict such brutal and torturous force that resulted in the death of Mr. Floyd. This type of abuse of police authority has led to a national outcry and dismay that many feel is “a justice system that offers no justice to people of color.”
We at Lyn-CAG recognize that too often African American and other disenfranchised citizens, live and/or work in communities that are under-resourced, under-served and under-represented. We emphatically believe the practices of racism and exclusion have contributed to the economic demise of communities of color across this Country, including Central Virginia. As a member of both the Virginia Community Action Partnership and the National Community Action Partnership, Lyn-CAG supports the Core Values Statements of these organizations that express condemnation of all racially motivated acts of injustice. In addition, Lyn-CAG will strive to follow the guiding principles of these organizations that are committed to forging pathways to health equity, housing justice, school reforms, job opportunities, and healthy neighborhoods.
We further state that Lyn-CAG applauds the peaceful protests that safely draw attention to these issues of inequality and injustice, but strongly urge participants to be respectful of the property of others and follow all safety precautions. While public protests garner immediate attention to the issue, we have included the following list of action steps (adapted from the Virginia Community Action Partnership List), that Lyn-CAG will implement, in order to plan for a better tomorrow, help to end these disparities, and thereby promote equity for all.
Externally, Lyn-CAG will:
- Zealously advocate for change in policies and systems that create racial and social disparities in the communities we serve. Provide advice and counsel to our legislators when necessary regarding legislation and policies that contribute to or dismantle racial and social disparities.
- Partner with local and state government officials to provide updates on legislative activity that directly addresses racial and social disparities.
- Seek the guidance of the Governor’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to help facilitate discussions on ways to promote racial and social equity in our community.
- Partner with key community organizations that participate in social and racial justice.
- Participate in and facilitate conversations and workshops on racial and social disparities and how to combat them.
Internally, Lyn-CAG will:
- Develop a comprehensive Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) plan for our organization ensure that we are living out the values that we communicate to others.
- Review internal policies that may be contributing to supremacist viewpoints and practices. Lyn-CAG will work to eliminate these practices from our organization.
- Participate in implicit bias training.
- Continuously educate ourselves on issues such as mass incarceration, environmental justice, health disparities, economic injustice, and racism within the community.
- Make sure that our governing Board remains as diverse, inclusive, and equitable as possible.