Along with the rest of the world, we as members of the Human Rights Commission are shocked and saddened by the death of George Floyd. We acknowledge that for many in Red Wing and throughout our country, privilege makes it impossible to fully comprehend the cumulative trauma of Floyd’s death and the deaths of so many others over years and generations.
It is past time for our country to get serious about the work it needs to do. The United States and Red Wing itself has been built, in part, on systematic policies and individual biases that favor people with white skin. The Human Rights Commission is committed to making meaningful change in our community so that success no longer depends upon a person’s race.
As one small step in that process, the Human Rights Commission is initiating a One Book project, and we hope you will join us. The book is called “Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race.” Multiple copies will be on loan starting in late June to residents for free at various locations.
We are asking you to read the book and talk about it with friends, family, and others in your life. A virtual group discussion will follow. The HRC values community conversations like these and encourages us all to become more comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Available next week, you will also find a variety of additional resources on race through the HRC’s web page (see red-wing.org), ranging from short Ted Talks to documentaries to podcasts and more. Conversations and a shared understanding around racism is one step. Action through improved policies and systems must follow.
Today we invite everyone to join us in reading “Waking Up White” and recommitting to creating a better Red Wing for all of us.
Jeimmy Yusty Rojas
Alainn Hanson, student adviser
Micah Marks, student adviser
Erin Buss, City Council liaison
Michelle Leise, city staff liaison