2020-06-04 Responding to Systemic Racism

NTL Public Statement – June 4, 2020

The following is the personal message from NTL Board Chair, Janie Payne, sent to NTL membership.

Dear NTL Members,

It is a very tough time for most of us. When I think about George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and David McAtee, I ask myself how long can America endure the pain of the killing of Black human beings? We are in the middle of two very deadly pandemics: COVID-19 and systemic racism and police brutality that results in the deaths of Black people. Black people are three times more likely than white people to be killed by police. Police whose duty it is to protect and serve Americans - a country that is deeply ingrained in racial prejudice and injustice which is playing out over and over again. This is an outrage that we must do something about.

What can we do about this? First, we must see the struggles of the Black Community in the United States as interconnected to oppression in all countries. We must listen to the ideas of our members and support grassroots efforts to respond to the issues. We must reactivate our internal Social Justice HUB, and provide full support to the work of social justice; driving the dismantling of the laws, culture, and institutions that allow racism to thrive. We must be available to love and support one another by continuing our community sessions. We must discuss the topic of social injustice and the steps NTL must take during our upcoming Virtual All Members Meeting in July. We must change our website to clearly articulate the stand that NTL is taking in support of our Black communities.

The Board of Directors will be holding an urgent meeting this week to discuss NTL’s response and commitment. In the interim, I want you to know how much we care about these issues and for our members during this very difficult time. If you have ideas you would like to share, please do not hesitate to reach out. We are here to listen and to support our members in the very best way we can.

With gratitude,

Janie

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