Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) — After days of civil unrest following the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police, National President, The Links, Incorporated Kimberly Jeffries Leonard, Ph.D., issued a call to action urging membership to write and/or call city, county and state officials.
Recent cellphone video and cable news coverage verify and document what we have always known. Being black in America has been deadly from the docking of the first slave ship in 1619, to this week on the corner of 38th and Chicago Avenues in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Human rights, civil rights, voting rights, and a basic sense of justice have been denied to George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and the countless, sometimes nameless others who didn’t have their last moments recorded and uploaded to the internet. There has never been justice for us. In the United States, African Americans account for 24 percent of those killed by police last year, despite being just 13 percent of the total population.
While arrests have been made in some cases, we have much work ahead of us. We must remain steady and act in impactful and purposeful ways. Our cries for justice and human rights in the past have been answered through protest, the ballot box, and the courts. We must return to those strategies now. The Links, Incorporated protests human rights violations and injustice in every form. The systemic and widespread assault against people of African descent can no longer go unchecked and unanswered. We demand transparency and fairness in examining these recent and unnecessary deaths. Their lives mattered. We must be heard.
Our first step on this long journey toward justice is truly a call to action. Call and write your mayor and your city, county, and state officials. Let them know that we expect justice and we expect accountability. Call and write your congressional representatives to express your outrage. Let them know that we will not sanction the appointment and confirmation of judges who do not uphold constitutional protections for all citizens. Let those in power know that we no longer accept that being black while jogging, buying personal items, or just sleeping in our home should end in death. We must continue to act until there are changes in our cities, our states, and our nation. Our collective voice can make a difference. Enough is truly enough.
“As a woman of African descent, these senseless deaths touch me in a deeply personal way, as I know they touch each of you. It is time for all of us to speak until we are heard. It is time for our action to lead to sustained change. Remain with me in prayer for all the families who have lost loved ones at the hands of injustice. While we know it does not stop here, join me in taking the first step toward change by writing and calling today,” Dr. Jeffries Leonard stated.
About The Links, Incorporated
The Links, Incorporated consists of more than 16,000 professional women of color in 288 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, and the United Kingdom. It is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of extraordinary women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. For more information, visit www.linksinc.org.