Tuesday, August 26, 2014
The events that have unfolded and continue to unfold in Ferguson, Missouri in the wake of the killing of Michael Brown are nothing short of tragic. Yet, even in the midst of what I have called the most poorly handled situation I have ever witnessed, I must acknowledge a few beacons of light – notably the leadership and efforts of the St. Louis Urban League and its CEO, Michael McMillan, and the Urban League Movement across the nation.
Working with a coalition including NAN, NAACP, ministers, and other national and local leaders on a daily basis, the National Urban League and Urban Leaguers from coast to coast have been fully engaged on the ground, online and on pushing for legislation and other actions aimed at repairing, rebuilding and healing the formidable chasms and deep-rooted tensions in a community that has gained international fame for all of the wrong reasons – and in other communities like it.
From our uncompromising position on calling for the arrest, charge and indictment of Officer Darren Wilson to the local community efforts of the St. Louis Urban League, we are indefatigable on this issue. Our collective efforts include having a strong presence at demonstrations and observances including the Peace March, youth rallies, prayer vigils and moments of silence; attending meetings with Governor Nixon; soliciting donations for the Mike Brown Fund to assist with the family's funeral, legal and other expenses; supporting coalitions providing hot meals, groceries, toiletries and other resources to the people of Ferguson and the surrounding communities; joining efforts to provide immediate relief to small businesses that were impacted by the looting and rioting and schools that need resources; and determining resources that can be allocated to fix the systemic, long-term issues that created an environment ripe for these occurrences.
At a national and local level, the Urban League is committed to justice for Michael Brown and his family and to addressing the challenges of the “Ferguson-like” cities and communities across the nation. We will not stop – until the killing does.