It is with a heart full of anger and sadness that we again make the following statement. This statement is not new, so we reaffirm our dedication to our membership and our community that we stand in support, will continue to stand to hold those accountable, and continue to push for REAL change in our communities.

UNITE HERE! Local 17 is Minnesota’s Hospitality Union. Our union is comprised of workers from many immigrant communities speaking more than 17 languages. The majority of our members are immigrants, people of color or GLBTQ. We are proud to be a diverse union.

As a union of minorities and historically oppressed peoples we see, and experience acts of racism and discrimination in our workplaces and in our communities daily. We have never been silent on these issues and we know we cannot stop our fight. We must be diligent. We must be out front. We must make added efforts to educate and inform our sisters and brothers of their rights. We must take steps to prevent such acts of blatant racism from happening. We must do everything we can to prevent such horrific needless deaths.

Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, Daunte Wright, a young black man was needlessly killed in another egregious act of police violence. Daunte Wright should be alive today. A life sadly added to an ever-growing list of people of color who have had their lives ripped from them by those who are sworn to ‘serve and protect’ them.

How is it that the color of a person’s skin can change the meaning of ‘Serve and Protect’?

Nearly every day we continue to see the devastating effects of racism and oppression targeting people of color in our communities.

The war for justice and equality continues to claim casualties. We must stand true. We must stand tall and shout that BLACK LIVES MATTER! We must hold those responsible for injustices accountable in order to prevent such horrific actions from ever happening.

Our union stands on the side of justice.
 Our union stands for #blacklivesmatter

UNITE HERE Local 17 calls for an immediate, transparent, and independent investigation by an outside agency to bring justice to Daunte Wright’s family. We also demand that law makers take serious steps to end racial profiling, over-policing, and needless killings of people of color.