The Urban League of Greater Chattanooga is issuing the following statement in response to the civil unrest sweeping the nation:
Our community is overwhelmed with grief and heartsick over the inhumanity we have witnessed in the recent deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery.
Cities across the nation have erupted in rage and despair. As civil rights leaders who are committed to racial justice, we share the protesters’ anguish and the heartbreak of the communities where uprisings have turned violent. We support the right of citizens to engage in peaceful protest and do not condone fighting violence with violence.
We are hearing what Martin Luther King, Jr., famously called “the language of the unheard.” When George Floyd begged for his life as Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s throat, he was unheard. The onlookers pleading with Chauvin to stop were unheard.
The cries for justice have gone unheard long enough.
Since Urban League of Greater Chattanooga's inception in 1982, we have remained committed to empowering communities and changing lives. It is our shared mission with affiliates across the country to enable African-Americans, other minorities and disadvantaged individuals to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights.
During this time of civil unrest, it is our shared responsibility to engage in uncomfortable conversations that unite and bring us forward. We must reset our culture and way of thinking. Accomplishing this begins at the community level. We are calling on our community leaders, elected officials, corporate leaders and social institutions to join us in pursuing racial reconciliation. We must use this opportunity to listen, learn and grow together to make Chattanooga what it has the potential to be.