THE LEADERSHIP OF
THE URBAN LEAGUE MOVEMENT
Wednesday, June 3,2020
Indianapolis Urban League President and CEO Tony Mason, National Urban League President Marc H. Morial, along with Urban League affiliate leaders from around the country, speak with one voice in response to the civil unrest sweeping our community and the nation in the following statement:
Our communities are overwhelmed with grief. We are heartsick over the inhumanity we have witnessed in the recent deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. We are appalled by the callous response from the authorities who shrugged in the face of evil.
Cities across the nation have erupted in rage and despair. As civil rights leaders who are committed to racial justice, we share the protesters’ anguish, and the heartbreak of the communities where uprisings have turned violent.
There are those who are inciting violence and mayhem. And there are those engaged in peaceful protest. No one should assume they are the same people, and we refute any attempt to discredit or dismiss the just cause for which people are marching based on infiltrators bent on sabotage. We support the right of citizens to engage in peaceful protest. We condemn the use of excessive force to dispel demonstrations.
We are hearing what Martin Luther King, Jr., famously called “the language of the unheard.” When George Floyd begged for his life as Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s throat, he was unheard. The onlookers pleading with Chauvin to stop were unheard.
The cries for justice have gone unheard long enough.
The long-overdue arrests of Ahmaud Arbery’s killers and one of the officers involved in George Floyd’s death are merely a first step in a long journey. The other officers involved in Floyd’s killing also must be held accountable.
The Urban League Movement has proposed specific recommendations for police reform and accountability. These include the widespread use of body cameras and dashboard cameras, revision of use-of-force policies, officer training and hiring standards, and the immediate appointment of independent prosecutors to investigate police misconduct.
But even more than these measures, we need a revision of our culture. It’s a culture that teaches a white woman walking her dog in Central Park that racially-motivated police brutality is a weapon she can use to enforce her own preferred social code.
As we pursue these measures to reform the police in our communities, we call upon all community leaders, elected officials, corporate leaders and social institutions to join us in pursuing policies that promote racial reconciliation.
The Urban League Movement is comprised of the National Urban League and its 90 affiliates, serving 300 communities in 36 states and the District of Columbia.
- Marc H. Morial, National Urban League
- Tracee Adams, Urban League of Kansas, Inc.
- Donna Lowe Alexander, Urban League of Union County, Inc.
- N. Charles Anderson, Urban League of Detroit & Southeast Michigan
- Ruben Anthony, Urban league of Greater Madison
- William Barnes, Birmingham Urban League
- Germaine Smith-Baugh, Urban League of Broward County
- Tonja Sesley-Baymon, Memphis Urban League
- Reverend Vincent Bell, Urban League of Greater Columbus, Inc.
- Steve Belton, Urban League of the Twin Cities
- Gilbert Bland, Urban League of Hampton Roads, Inc.
- Laraine Bryson, Tri-County Urban League
- Beneta Burt, Mississippi Urban League
- Esther Bush, Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh
- Thomas Conley, Greater-Warren Youngstown Urban League
- Andrea Custis, Urban League of Philadelphia
- Richard Danford, Jacksonville Urban League
- Mable Davis, Morris County Urban League
- George Dean, Greater Phoenix Urban League
- Dr. Quinton Dixie, Fort Wayne Urban League
- Sean Dogan, Urban League of the Upstate, Inc.
- Anthony Dubose, Urban League for Bergen County
- Quincy Dunlap, Austin Area Urban League
- Warren Evans, Jr., Las Vegas Urban League
- Nancy Flake Johnson, Urban League of Greater Atlanta
- Patrick Franklin, Urban League of Palm Beach County, Inc.
- Vivian Cox-Fraser, Urban League of Essex County
- Molly Gilbert, Tucson Urban League
- Theodia Gillespie, Quad County Urban League
- Glenton Gilzean, Central Florida Urban League
- Gwendolyn Grant, Urban League of Greater Kansas City
- Dr. Eve M. Hall, Milwaukee Urban League
- James Hall, Urban League of Racine & Kenosha, Inc.
- Scott Hamilton, The Urban League of the State of Arkansas
- Clifton Harris, Urban League of Middle Tennessee
- Nina Harris, Springfield Urban League Inc.
- Seanelle Hawkins, Urban League of Rochester, Inc.
- Stephanie Hightower, Columbus Urban League
- Watson Haynes, Pinellas County Urban League
- David Hopkins, Urban League of Greater Hartford
- Erin Houston, Shenango Valley Urban League
- Cassandra Jennings, Greater Sacramento Urban League
- Nkenge Harmon Johnson, Urban League of Portland
- Joseph Jones, Grand Rapids Urban League
- Ray King, Urban League of San Diego County
- Eddie L. Koen, Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio
- George H. Lambert Jr., Greater Washington Urban League
- Michael Lawson, Los Angeles Urban League
- Beverly Ledbetter, Urban League of Rhode Island Inc.
- Teresa LeGrair, Akron Community Service Ctr & Urban League
- Jennifer Lesko, Broome County Urban League
- Warren E. Logan, Jr., Urban League of Greater Chattanooga
- Brenda Walker McCain, Madison County Urban League
- Vanessa Allen McCloud, Urban League of Northwest Indiana
- William Teddy McDaniel, Urban League of Central Carolinas, Inc.
- Brenda W. McDuffie, Buffalo Urban League
- Diane McLaughlin, Northern Virginia Urban League
- James T. McLawhorn, Columbia Urban League
- Michael McMillan, Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis
- Tony Mason, Indianapolis Urban League
- Tiffany Majors, Greater Baltimore Urban League
- Otha Meadows, Charleston Trident Urban League
- Michelle Merriweather, Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle
- Marsha Mockabee, Urban League of Greater Cleveland
- Judy Morse, Urban League of Louisiana
- Dr. J. Keith Motley, Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts
- Cynthia Mullins, ESQ, Urban League of Southern Connecticut
- Phyllis Nichols, Knoxville Area Urban League
- T’wina Nobles, Tacoma Urban League
- P.G. Peeples, Urban League of Lexington-Fayette County
- James Perry, Winston-Salem Urban League
- Reverend Del Phillips, Urban League of Metropolitan Denver
- Sadiqa Reynolds, Louisville Urban League
- Arva Rice, New York Urban League
- Judson Robinson, Houston Area Urban League
- Diane Stevens Robinson, Greater Stark County Urban League
- Theresa Sanders, Urban League of Long Island
- Sorraya Sampson, Urban League of Westchester County
- Parris Smith, Lorain County Urban League
- Curtis Taylor, Tallahassee Urban League
- Henry Thomas III, Urban League of Springfield
- Valerie Thompson, Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City
- Muhammad Umar, Urban League of Hudson County
- Kyra Wallace, Southwestern Michigan Urban League
- Thomas Warren, Urban League of Nebraska
- Reverend George Wilkinson, Urban League of Flint
- Karen Freeman-Wilson, Chicago Urban League
- Eugene Young, Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League