JUNE 18, 2020
This is our moment, make the pledge today.
I can’t sleep these days.
There’s so much to process at this moment. The violent history that has brought us here. The possibilities that await us. The news headlines that flood my phone, television screen, and every Zoom meeting of every day. It’s hard not to stay awake.
Still, I am energized. I am hopeful.
And my deepest hope is that the rest of the country — the rest of you — can’t sleep these days either.
What’s happening in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, New York and so many other cities is the power of collective action. People all over this country and across the world are declaring that Black Lives Matter. Our communities are uniting to fight for change, with clear action and demands on the systems that hurt so many of us. Protests, organizing, and activism is an outlet that allows us to be hopeful.
The rebellions and reimaginations happening all over the country are challenging systems to restructure in support of Black lives and Black futures.
We are not wrong to believe that our country is on the cusp of real, everlasting change, beyond the usual platitudes and promises. We are not wrong to stay awake together, rewriting our history, reimagining a safer and more dignified life for all Black people.
Now more than ever, I believe St. Louis, too, will harness this powerful moment.
Right here in St. Louis, we will reconcile with our past. We will dare to rewrite the story of this region.
This is no time to play small, St. Louis. This moment demands that we fight for our right to be safe and live free.
It’s time to take a closer look at our own police department. It’s time to invest in our children, to Close the Workhouse and put our resources towards North St. Louis City. To put our energy and resources towards improving our early childhood education system, K-12 education system and how it is financed across the region, to create real living-wage jobs.
We can do this. We have to. All of our children deserve us waking up to the inequities and possibilities right here in St. Louis.
Tomorrow is Juneteenth, an annual holiday that celebrates the end of slavery. Now, 155 years later, people across the U.S. continue to fight for freedom.
In honor of Juneteenth, in honor of this moment, this movement. Make the pledge to Give Black, Buy Black, and Defend Black lives over the next 72 hours: bit.ly/wepjuneteenth.
Once you sign the pledge, we will follow up tomorrow with a link to a resource hub of St. Louis-based Black-owned businesses to buy from, Black-led organizations to donate to, and local actions to join in defense of Black lives.
In power, with love, and filled with hope,