On May 25, 2020, we witnessed the murder of George Floyd at the hand of the Minneapolis Police Department. For nearly nine minutes, we sat helplessly and watched an African American man plead and beg for air. As he was taking (what many of us didn’t know) his last breath, he cried out for his mother.
Our country is hurting now and screaming for change. The racial injustice that plagues our communities for many of us is not new, but it is exhausting. It seems like every day we wake to see another African American or person of color killed or jailed at the hands of our judicial system — not for the crime committed, but for the color of his or her skin. In the past few weeks, people across this country, and around the world, have stood up in the face of the injustice and systemic racism that has inundated our black and brown communities for far too long. We are seeing people from all lifestyles protesting and saying “enough is enough” because black lives do matter. They are demanding justice for not only Mr. Floyd, but for others who have died the same tragic deaths. They are demanding change as they fight for equality and accountability.
Legacy Redevelopment Corporation (LRC) stands with others in the call for immediate change. Our board of directors is a diverse group and our president, Terese Caro, is an African American woman who knows firsthand that we can no longer stand for what we have lived with for over 400 years. At LRC, our vision is “To empower urban businesses and organizations to be self-sustaining and achieve their financial goals. By stimulating economic development in Milwaukee, we will energize neighborhoods and build stronger communities.” But this can only happen if we work together to dismantle the prejudices that jail us, kill us, and keep knees on our necks. It is time for all people to be treated equally because we were created equal — man changed this definition.
LRC is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that has called the central city of Milwaukee home for nearly 20 years. We have witnessed and helped countless minority businesses to start, expand and thrive. By offering loans, technical assistance and strategic planning ideas to small businesses, we continue to change the narrative that currently cripples communities of color by increasing financial wealth. Financial stability is key to a self-sustaining community where people can feel empowered to make change not just locally, but nationally. We believe there are brighter days ahead, where people of color will be recognized by their merit.
As Angela Davis wisely said, “The challenge of the 21st Century is not to demand equal opportunity in the machinery of oppression, but rather to identify and dismantle those structures in which racism continues to be embedded.”
Terese M. Caro, President
LRC Board of Directors
Richard W. Lincoln, Chair
John A. Erich, Esq., Vice Chair
Abra E. Fortson, Secretary
Michael S. D’Amato, Treasurer
Sharon C. Adams
Sally R. Peltz
Troy L. Reese
Rev. Louis E. Sibley, III