PHOENIX — Phoenix Pride has issued the following statement in the wake of nationwide protests over police actions:
“This week, as we grieve and mourn and try to understand, the Phoenix Pride family stands shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors, colleagues and co-workers in the African American community, in the shadow of this week’s alarming and disturbing events. We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and all struggles to fight racism.
“Our community is at the center of intersectionality. There are LGBTQ individuals of every race and ethnicity, profession and creed, socio-economic status and country of origin, and our community includes many people of color who have experienced, firsthand, the struggles faced by all people of color in a country that continues to reel from centuries of its own systematic oppression of minorities, and particularly of Black Americans. We recognize the longstanding systemic issues of racism and bias that pervade our national and local institutions, and will continue to work toward a day when everyone will be treated with equal levels of respect, decency, dignity and humanity.
“In furthering our commitment to justice and equity for all people, we call upon our entire community to stand up, and speak up, in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, but to do so peacefully, civilly and constructively. There are clear reasons to be upset, but please remain safe and responsible.
“Our thoughts are with the families of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Alton Sterling, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, Dion Johnson, Michelle Cousseaux, Rumain Brisbon, Muhammad Muhaymin, Henry Wayne Rivera and with the far too many others who have been lost at the hands of those ostensibly meant to be protectors. We will not be silent and we will not turn our backs on the Black community during this difficult time.
“We are reminded of, and hold true, the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: ‘In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies…but the silence of our friends.'”
ABOUT PHOENIX PRIDE
Phoenix Pride is the producer of the two largest annual public LGBTQ community events in Arizona: the Phoenix Pride Festival and Parade held each spring in April, and the Rainbows Festival, held every fall in October. Founded in 1981, the organization engages year-round in its mission to unite, educate and engage people and partners to support and empower the LGBTQ community and its current and future allies. Additional information regarding Phoenix Pride is available online at the agency’s web site, http://www.PhoenixPride.org.