"Justice denied anywhere diminishes justice everywhere."

May 29, 2020

Dear Heller Community,

The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution each contain a due process clause. Due process deals with the administration of justice and thus the due process clause acts as a safeguard from arbitrary denial of life, liberty, or property by the government outside the sanction of law.

The deaths of Ahmaud Arbery jogging, Breonna Taylor sleeping, and George Floyd not resisting arrest, punch us in the gut; take our breath away at a time when we must speak out. Their deaths should remind us of #sayhername and the numerous individuals dying from a history of brutality. This should remind us of the brutality meted out on black and brown populations who were murdered for trying to vote (as in Ocoee, Florida), building wealth (as in Tulsa, Oklahoma), or tortured and killed on a claim of whistling (Emmett Till).  Most recently, a black man bird watching in Central Park was considered worth a call to the police, and a black physician was handcuffed while assisting the homeless in Miami.  Blacks are targets of hate crimes in America more than any other group (SPLC/FBI statistics).  

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us that "Justice denied anywhere diminishes justice everywhere."   The current moment demands a racial reckoning in America, with truth telling, soul searching, legal and societal transformation, with the return of dignity and respect for every individual. This goes beyond safeguarding and requires valuing each life equitably. 

We will be inviting you to an option of two processing sessions next Tuesday. First, the Heller community will host the Sankofa Community Conference:Co-Constructing Racial Justice through Life and Work on Tuesday, June 2 and Wednesday, June 3 at 12:30 p.m. each day. Second, Mark Brimhall-Vargas will co-host a Zoom gathering called “Coming Together to Face Systemic Racism” on Tuesday, June 2 at 5 p.m. You can register here

Be well,

Maria Madison and David Weil