We must be the change

George Floyd

By Jeff Mortensen
President & CEO

The death of George Floyd is profoundly upsetting.

The unrest sparked by his killing has underscored a stark reality. The United States is known as a land of hope and opportunity, but black Americans live in a country that subjects them to racism, inequity, economic oppression, and hurt every day.

360 Communities’ mission is to “deliver safety and stability that improves lives.” Every human being in every community should be afforded foundational safety and stability, regardless of skin color. Through our work, we strive to provide opportunities for all individuals by building relationships with them and connecting them with the resources they need to be stable and thrive.

We recognize that there is pervasive racism and inequality in Minnesota, including Dakota County, for diverse groups of people.  Our local communities contain similar inequities that led to the protests we’re seeing in the Twin Cities and communities around the world. These injustices, in different forms and varying degrees, exist across all sectors and organizations. Some are obvious and some seem hidden. A more equitable future will require fundamental change. 

360 Communities owns a role in reimagining how to build an inclusive, diverse, and equitable society. We have a crucial part to play.  We all do.  It includes asking ourselves, “How has privilege or bias crept into our own behaviors, our work cultures, our neighborhoods, and our view of what normal is?”

There is hope for the future. 

Our communities, time and again, have shown incredible resiliency in the face of crises. We are witnessing community members pitching in to clean up in Minneapolis and collect donations for those impacted by the rioting. And we’ve seen profound generosity in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. People have an enormous capacity for helping, and this is where the hope lies.

We all have a stake in our neighbor’s safety and stability.  360 Communities welcomes new action and new narratives that are non-violent and promote and practice interculturalism.  We seek to develop a deeper understanding and respect for all cultures with a mutual exchange of ideas and norms so that people learn from each other, strengthen relationships, and create equity in our communities and systems. This will require courage, reflection, deconstruction, and growth on many levels.