WDM Human Rights Commission Statement on the Death of George Floyd
To our Community Members, Visitors, City Staff, City Leaders and City Council Members,
As the West Des Moines Human Rights Commission, we are committed to equity and racial justice. We grieve with the George Floyd family and all of you who recognize this could be you, your child and or loved one. We stand against all forms of racism and acknowledge that we live in a world where there are systems that are flawed. We, as a society, need to do better.
We support your right to have your voices heard. We are each representatives of our West Des Moines community. While you may not have heard our voices in the past, we are here, commissioned and ready to represent change. We thank those of you that stood with many of us in local peaceful protests to amplify people of colors’ voices. You have given us this opportunity to do our part to clarify the commitment we have to equity, to you and our city.
We acknowledge our community is struggling and it will take time to build trust and reform together. We know you have been sharing this message of frustration much longer than a week. We have had the privilege of beginning to develop relationships with leaders in our city and we will use those to drive real change. We want to publicly commit to stepping forward as anti-racists. We acknowledge we have a critical role in supporting any and all systemic changes that will enable our City to continue to strive towards the journey of full inclusion for all. While we won't be perfect, we will commit to progress.
Our country and our community will need a healing process before all are willing to lean into the work required to make progress. We pledge to have patience with our community members, to continue with our strategic plan and to incorporate your ideas when you are ready. We pledge to evaluate our systems and commit to working alongside our City Leaders and Council Members. We pledge to you that even though we are volunteers, we are poised and well equipped to help the City of West Des Moines. After all, we are also members of this community and strive to make it a place where all are safe and want to live, work and play. We are all in this together.
Be well and safe,
West Des Moines Human Rights Commission
Sanjita Pradhan (Chair), Mindy Begenat (Vice Chair)
Milton Cole, Heather Schott, Dr. Rich Salas, Lonnette Dafney and Councilwoman Renee Hardman