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The Gandhi Institute joins with other local and national organizations condemning the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and the countless number of black and brown people who have died at the hands of police in the US.

On behalf of all of us at the Gandhi Institute, we commit to undermining the system of racism in every way. Locally we support the calls to action by Rochester’s Black Agenda group.  We will continue to support other anti-racism initiatives in the Rochester area, including St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative.

Our calls to action include:

1. Broad based ongoing support for Black Lives Matter, who are working to actualize the words spoken in a grief and support circle last week: we rise by lifting others.

2. Taking time to understand what medicine was called for yet went unheard in the late 1960s. Thanks to former board member Rashid Muhammed for suggesting all of us take time to understand the findings from the Kerner Report on Civil Unrest, a group of moderates appointed by President Johnson to understand the root causes of the rebellions during the 1960s.  Johnson was surprised evidently when this group called for major reforms and named white racism as the root cause of the civil unrest.The report remains completely timely for the current moment.  We must put continued pressure on our governments at every level to act to eliminate rather than to study racism.

3. White folks please courageously call your people in, rather than calling them out. Work to center justice with mercy and remember that hate, which every one of us struggles with, fuels hate. In one of our workshops here, we have been talking about spiritual bypasses. We define those as moments when we try to dodge painful emotions and situations. That’s a natural and a dangerous thing to do right now. Instead, we ask you to feel your grief, guilt, shame, hate or rage right now. We only feel these things in relation to things we care about. Love it and let it teach you what you need to know.

Justice deferred has meant justice denied for all and it has eaten away at the heart of this country. The triple threats of racism, militarism and poverty that King called out to a state of perpetual warfare and a sitting president who foments riots, a pattern seen around the world, from India and Brazil to the UK. We call on each of you to search your hearts, to learn and to act.  No one else can do what is yours to do. Let us know how we can help.

No peace without justice