We must confront racism where we live and work

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Demonstrations erupted in many cities across the country in the past week as people reacted to the senseless killing of George Floyd at the hands of the police. It is yet another chapter in a long history of racism in our country.

Small towns and rural America are often characterized as mostly white, and, for some, the protests can feel far away. But, those of us who work here know this generalization is slowly being swept away. Across the country, small towns are being reshaped by new waves of immigration. New immigrants join long-time Black, Brown and Indigenous people as our neighbors and our fellow rural Americans.

We must speak up for our neighbors, and for all Black, Brown and Indigenous people.

There cannot be social and economic justice, nor opportunity for all who live in our communities without an end to racism. Our mission and our values call on us to work to end racism. The work of the Center has evolved and will continue to evolve to meet this challenge.

At this moment, we wish share the voices of our neighbors who disproportionately experience injustice in rural communities:

Our mission and our values call on us to continue to build more racially just communities. The demonstrations across the country remind us that we have much to accomplish.