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In this time of increased awareness of the harm done to people of color due to systemic racism, the Great Lakes Peace Center wishes to remember that we strive for building bridges, not creating divides.  We wish to commit to peace and justice for all people, animals and the earth.

We are aware that we are a nation founded on the genocide of Indigenous people, built by the labor of enslaved Africans and unfair labor practices imposed on Asian-American and Latinx people.  We condemn the violence impacting people of color and believe it is extremely important not to remain silent.  We must engage our capacity to seek justice and speak truth.

We are inviting you to search your hearts for ways that you can take action and speak out against the injustices occurring against people of color in our community, state, nation and the world.

This is uncomfortable work.  We must not remain silent.  We must not look away from the truth and harm happening to people.  We must attend to the things that divide us and harm people of color.  We cannot undo the harm without awareness of the truth.

We grieve the countless lives lost to racial violence across this nation and call for accountability of those who perpetuate violence.

Historic, systemic and pervasive racism and traumas of colonization and slavery make people of color, particular Black and Indigenous communities in our country, fear for their families' health, safety, and lives every single day.  Additionally, the current climate crisis and health pandemic are destroying communities of color at a disproportional and alarming rate.

What are we going to do?  How do we take action in our lives and our community?  What are our habits of subtle acts of exclusion?  We can recognize our own privilege, practice humility, and speak out against harm done to people of color.  In our current racial climate the harm done to Black Americans is being highlighted.  It is important to realize that Black Lives Matter is not an either/or proclamation.  When there is a crisis we rally around that particular group.  It doesn't discredit or diminish any other group, it just brings awareness and support to the group that needs attention.

For those interested in learning ways we can support people of color:

  • Watch this TED Talk discussion on

  • Reach out to your friends of color.                                                                             Simply ask, "I'm thinking about you this week with everything going on.  How are you coping?"  Be prepared to listen.  You do not need any further expertise to open this discussion.

  • Reach out to your white friends and start a discussion they might never have had before.  This might start with, "I'm heartbroken over all the racial injustice coming to light right now.  How are you processing it all?"  Express your feelings about the rioting, but remember to focus on the underlying racial injustice as well.  Have you previously been so keenly attuned to issues of racial injustice?  Why or why not?  What is it about these most recent events that stir the feelings you have?

  • Find a way to talk to your kids about this whether it's                             or discussing their feelings.

  • Read a book to understand unconscious bias and understand institutional racism.

  • Watch a documentary about racism in America.

  • Google articles and other resources on the Internet for free.  Follow others on social media who don't look or think like you.

  • Check out more resources at

We are working to bring more resources to you.  Please check our website regularly for newly added information.  

We call for racial justice, accountability and an end to violence.  Black Lives Matter. 

Yours in building peace,

Mollie Larsen                           Brad Nedeau

Deb Neadeau                          Alex Ruuska

Kathy Vanden Boogaard         Erica Vandermeer

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