Vital Village Networks
By Vital Village Networks
A Statement from Our Beloved Community
We belong to each other.
We will strive to learn from all of our history: the generations of racial injustice and the generations of resistance and uplift.
We will continue to listen to and engage more authentically with one another and welcome new allies.
We will work to transform all systems—judicial, education, health, social service—and institutional laws that disproportionately criminalize and police people of color. Reimagining systems of collective care that nurture and support communities.
For centuries structural racism has been a pervasive public health threat in the US and for many countries around the globe.
Research has shown that 1 in 1000 Black men and boys are likely to be killed by police in their lifetime, nearly 2 to 3 times more likely to die from law enforcement as white Americans. Presently, Black Americans are dying of COVID-19 at rates 2 to 3 times higher than white Americans. In 2019 the American Medical Association declared the killing of transgender women, 91% of whom were Black women, an epidemic.
Police and other forms of state-sanctioned violence traumatizes Black children and can adversely affect their physical and mental health, school performance, and wellbeing. Black and Latinx children experience higher levels of exposure to police violence in their homes, schools, and neighborhoods. In encounters with police, they are more likely to experience racial profiling, excessive force, or assault. Children who experience unwanted contact with police or increased neighborhood policing have lower school performance, increased levels of depressive symptoms. Police killings are also linked to poor mental health among Black adults and caregivers. When children are more likely to view the police as untrustworthy, and experience distress or anxiety when they witness the arrest or brutality directed at a caregiver by law enforcement.
Racism harms and jeopardizes the health of Black, Brown and Indigenous children.  
We come together as a network to promote child wellbeing, mitigate and prevent adverse childhood experiences, and uphold the dignity of every child. Structural racism is a root cause of childhood adversities and race-based trauma.
For centuries, our relentless journey towards equity continues.
We continue our collective work in solidarity to end racial injustice in all forms.
Rashard Brooks was a father. Breonna Taylor was a daughter. George Floyd was a brother. Ahmaud Arburey was a son. Atatiana Jefferson was an aunt.
It is not enough to acknowledge who they were to those who loved them. Who must they be to us in order for us to sustain commitment to righting injustice?
Tamir Rice was our child.
We are kin. We are keepers. We must continue.
“Solidarity is not the same as support. To experience solidarity, we must have a community of interests, shared beliefs and goals around which to unite, to build Sisterhood. Support can be occasional. It can be given and just as easily withdrawn. Solidarity requires sustained, ongoing commitment.” 
- bell hooks

Read the entire statement here 
Posted In: Male Engagement Task Force