Kenosha, Wisconsin, June 2019. MCU leaders and organizers joined the Gamaliel National Leadership Training at University of Wisconsin – Parkside. The training included a track for formerly incarcerated leaders. On the first night, one of those leaders was targeted by the Kenosha police department. After many of us had gone to sleep, the police entered our dorm on campus with guns drawn and with a German Shepherd. They entered multiple rooms with the dog and with guns out. Before the week concluded, they targeted another participant. Only Black male participants were targeted.
This week, we are at another National Leadership Training. This time, we’re meeting via Zoom, but one of our participants is part of EXPO Wisconsin, formerly incarcerated and a current student at UW-Parkside. He also attends church in Kenosha.
Tragically, the police shooting of Jacob Blake is too familiar and too close to home. That’s why …
- We will lift-up our Sacred Votes campaign with extra vigor. It is in the public arena, in the voting booth that we as people of faith and reason, can make the decisions that preserve and lift up our values, where we decide who will represent us at all levels of representation.
- We will continue to organize our court involved families to Break the Pipeline. We will refuse to continue to allow our systems to criminalize children and youth when those very systems are meant to uplift and service those children and youth.
- We will continue to train leaders in our congregations/organizations, giving people the tools and unleashing the visions held of a Beloved Community.
- We will continue as we feel led, to be in the streets to confront the evil of racism at every level of society: education, health care, policing, the courtroom, the state house, even our spiritual centers.
Please follow the link for a statement from Gamaliel leadership: Rev. John Welch, president of the Gamaliel board of directors and Ana Garcia-Ashley, executive director of the Gamaliel Network. The video is in English and Spanish. HERE