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Message to the Community about George Floyd and Changing Systems

From Executive Director Dr. Darlene Zangara

6/15/2020 1:13:12 PM

ASL version

English version

Hello. My name is Dr. Darlene Zangara, Executive Director for the Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind & Hard of Hearing. This is a message on behalf of MNCDHH and staff. Since George Floyd’s killing on May 25, 2020, we have experienced heartbreak, pain, and sorrow. George Floyd was a person and his death was a result of systemic racism. We know this has affected each and every one of you. Our Black and People of Color communities have our support. We hear you. We hope justice will be swift and fair.

MNCDHH will continue to do our part to change the world for the better. MNCDHH has contracted with diverse community members for several years and trains them so that they can do civic engagement outreach within their own communities. This strengthens their voice in the legislative and systemic process. This also helps our contractors and the people they reach grow professionally. Many of our deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing community members and their families are Black and People of Color. They experience twice the discrimination, one due to their disability and one due to their skin color. Let’s make sure that we, as a diverse community, openly support each other. We hope you take this opportunity to pause, reflect, and develop a new awareness of what has happened since May 25, and what has been happening for centuries. We can all take this experience and learn how we can change systems and be a better ally to our Black and People of Color communities.

The heart of MNCDHH’s work is to advocate for communication access and equal opportunity. Addressing racism is a natural part of our scope and we will be meeting with the state’s Ethnic Councils to discuss how we can collaborate. MNCDHH also want to recognize our community members who are protesting an unfair system, contacting their legislators, and working to make a difference. Thank you for everything you do to change the system and our community for the better.

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