I was reminded of how I experienced the tragic death of George Floyd last May, as I processed the incident involving a Brooklyn Center police officer and an unarmed Black motorist last weekend that ended in the loss of Daunte Wright’s life.
Our hearts go out to Daunte’s family and loved ones. And while the tragedy has directly impacted them, we are all shaken when we see such an incident, particularly with the backdrop of the current trial of Derek Chauvin.
My experience in dealing with the deaths of George Floyd and Daunte Wright came on three levels: first as a human being, then as a Black man, and finally as a member of the team responsible for promoting our destination.
We are all part of a community that has dealt with multiple crises and tragedies over the last year, and we are all understandably weary. This weariness is not just felt by our communities of color, but by all of us. My prayer is that we will ultimately be strengthened by our collective adversity.
Our community has been forever changed. We may not have asked to become the epicenter of the movement to seek social justice and to remove racial disparities of all sorts. However, the world is watching us intently, and we have an obligation and an opportunity to lead and be innovative in creating a more equitable society for all people.
I am often asked by colleagues and friends what an individual can do to help drive the change we need. Personal reflection is always the starting point I suggest. We must ask ourselves if we simply want to get beyond the trials, the unrest, the present spotlight on addressing inequality, and move on.
That is certainly an understandable approach for the short term, particularly as we tire of the seemingly endless crises. However, for long-term impact, we must continue the hard work even when the pressure to take action subsides and the media attention wanes.
A practical way that you can help to further understand the depth of the issues we are facing is by participating in our Meet Minneapolis Legacy Project Speaker Series. Our next event is tomorrow:
Please join the conversation as Meet Minneapolis continues to provide resources for our journey toward reconciliation and equality.
While we are all working feverishly to get our industry back on its feet and our many displaced hospitality workers back on the job, we cannot forget the more foundational work of creating equity and justice for all of our citizens. This is a journey that we have only just begun.