Five years have passed since Michael Brown was killed by a Ferguson Police officer on Canfield Drive. His death sparked an examination of the racial divide in our community, and the systemic racism infecting some of our municipal institutions. We came under scrutiny worldwide, and no less an entity than the United States Department of Justice issued findings. There were hard facts that our region could not ignore and, thankfully, progress has been made. But there is much more to be done.
As YWCA Metro St. Louis reflects on this sad anniversary, we recognize that few feel the agony as acutely as Michael Brown’s parents and family to whom we offer our condolences. We also mourn with those who lost loved ones to violent, racist hatred in El Paso, Dayton, and so many more communities nationwide.
YWCA Metro St. Louis and the entire community must turn our pain into activism. We must reject hateful rhetoric, derive power from progress, and pledge to move forward in the face of all that threatens to pull us back.
On this anniversary, we are saddened for all that is lost: the lives, the potential, the promise. But we promise to continue to do our work and fight for awareness, awakening and acceptance for all people in support of our mission to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, dignity and freedom for all.