A DAY OF REMEMBRANCE AND ACTION
Playwrights' Center uplifts the George Floyd Memorial Foundation in honoring George Floyd’s life, and taking action to end systemic police brutality against Black and brown bodies. We encourage those in the Twin Cities to attend the Celebration of Life event on Tuesday, May 25 from 11:00 am—5:00 pm CDT, to gather with the community to celebrate life through Black culture, art, and history. And for those not in the Twin Cities, we encourage you to join the George Floyd Remembrance Virtual Day of Action and answer the call to "unite together to continue the fight for justice. From using your social media platforms to call for justice, contacting local officials, and supporting critical legislation, now is the time for action to create unity, hope, and progress."
OUR RESPONSE TO THE DEREK CHAUVIN TRIAL VERDICT
Today’s verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin moves us one step closer to fully realizing justice for George Floyd. The trials of J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao remain.
Sadly, George Floyd’s murder was not an anomaly. The recent killing of Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, and countless others amplify the urgent need to dismantle the violent underpinnings of white supremacy embedded throughout our society, most overtly in our policing system. Until the humanity of Black, Latin, and other people of color is fully recognized by all, we will risk continuing to replay this violent narrative.
To that end, we reassert our commitment to uplift voices of color, to intentionally center narratives from Black, Indigenous, Latin, and Asian artists, and to more deeply examine and address where white supremacy, racism, and inequity exist within our organization, the theater field, and our community.
We ask you to join us as we lean into our mission and values to serve artists and their stories—stories that have the power to channel understanding and be the catalyst for desperately needed change.
Join us in uprooting systemic inequalities. Join us in building a more equitable world.
BLACK. LIVES. MATTER.
In love and solidarity,
A STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO THE MURDER OF GEORGE FLOYD
The public murder of George Floyd by members of the Minneapolis police department and the subsequent delayed action of the Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman perpetuates the permissive culture of white supremacy inherently woven into the fabric of our country. George Floyd’s murder is part of the centuries-long lineage of state-sanctioned violence; of trauma enacted on Black bodies in the US. To see George Floyd’s death as anything but the systemized dismissal of Black humanity is to deny the truth of this very supremacy.
Every single day the violent underpinnings of white supremacy endanger the well-being of our extraordinary Black artists, Indigenous artists, and all artists of color and their respective communities. Until all of the playwrights and artists we serve are truly safe, until their humanity and lives are truly valued, we acknowledge that we are not fully living into our work as an artist service organization. Therefore, at the Playwrights’ Center:
- We demand justice for George Floyd and want to see all four officers convicted for their crimes.
- We stand united with our communities of color and commit to supporting and uplifting voices of color; listening to what is needed, and taking action to address injustice.
- We call on white people within our community to self-examine and to acknowledge racism and white supremacy in all their implicit and explicit forms—and to make an intentional change within communities of friends and family. We implore you to remember that, if you value experiencing great work by Black artists and other artists of color, you must also insist that non-violent, just systems be created and upheld to protect them.
- We will continue our own work at the Center to more deeply examine where white supremacy, racism, and inequity exist—to both name and actively address it.
Additionally, we’ve started compiling a list of suggested resources to help combat these issues. As this is only a beginning, if you know of spaces, organizations, or efforts to add, we welcome your input. Many staff members and artists at the Playwrights’ Center have made contributions to these direct causes of support—if it feels right to you, we invite you to consider doing the same.
- Donate to Black Visions Collective, organizing for Black and collective liberation.
Support the Black Immigrant Collective to amplify and make visible the voices of Black immigrants in Minnesota.
- Donate to Black Table Arts which gathers Black communities through the arts, towards better black futures.
- Support Reclaim The Block, for organizing for structural change in the city.
- Donate to the Minnesota Freedom Fund to support bail for any arrests.
- Give to Unicorn Riot, for providing critical live streams.
- Support MIGIZI Communications which advances a message of success, well-being, and justice for the American Indian community. Support them in rebuilding after a fire.
- Visit Take Action Minnesota to build a people-centered democracy that works for all.
- Visit Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha, a worker-led organization where workers organize, educate, and empower each other to fight for a voice in their workplaces and in their communities.
Thank you to the members of our community who have shared these additional resources.
Pimento Relief Fund provides black business without insurance relief after white supremacists set them on fire during the protests.
Little Earth Residents Association provides food and safety needs for residents of Little Earth of United Tribes.
Minnesota Healing Justice Network provides a supportive professional community and mutual aid network for wellness and healing justice practitioners who also identify as IBPOC (indigenous, black, or people of color).
Powwow Grounds (send via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Native-run cafe, currently providing meals to elders, protectors, and community, purchasing medical supplies, fire supplies, cooking supplies.
North Star Health Collective is a group of street medics providing care to protestors on the ground and in the streets.
The Lake Street Council is donating 100% of its donations directly to small businesses and nonprofits in the Lake Street community to help them rebuild their storefronts and serve its neighborhoods.
Northside Business Support supports businesses on Minneapolis’s Northside that have been impacted by recent demonstrations.
Neighbors United Funding Collaborative is a nonprofit fundraiser supporting the Hamline Midway Coalition in St. Paul. According to its website, Midway United is a local fund focused on strengthening the community.
South Minneapolis Mutual Aid Autonomous Zone Coordination is continuing their efforts amongst the community in taking care of residents in the south side of the city. People on Facebook can join the group, where many have provided donations to those in need.
We also encourage you to support Black theater across the country. Learn more at BlackTheatreMatters.org.
Standing in solidarity & action,
The Playwrights’ Center