Statement from ICI's Director on the murder of George Floyd


With our colleagues and partners in Minnesota and beyond, ICI stands in horror and despair over the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. As an organization founded on the principles of inclusion and justice for people with disabilities, we commit to sharing in the responsibility for rebuilding our community after this devastating loss of life and destruction of neighborhoods. We acknowledge the deep grieving that must continue in the days, months, and years ahead as we encourage each other to take time to heal, talk with our families and neighbors, and help one another and their communities. Our employees, many of whom have seen their neighborhoods devastated, are responding by donating food, cleaning up neighborhoods, participating in protests, helping people injured in the protests, participating in neighborhood action networks, checking in on people who have been displaced or lost their businesses, praying, and writing letters, calling elected officials and other forms of advocacy.

We know that truly restoring our community will take much more than protests and acts of kindness. We need major changes in our laws, policies, and practices. We must hold elected officials just as accountable as the Minneapolis Police Department and its union. We commit anew to identifying and calling out how racism continues to divide us more than a half-century after passage of the Civil Rights Act. We know, and have known for decades, that structural and systemic racism is deeply embedded in our public health, social, and educational institutions. We condemn the use of violent procedures by police and other professionals who work in our communities—in hospitals, institutions, schools, and homes. We also condemn school-to-prison pipelines that disproportionately affect youth of color and people with disabilities. We embrace de-escalation, positive behavior supports, environmental changes, and other nonviolent interventions to support people who are in distress.

The dual trauma-provoking crises we are experiencing magnify the horrible outcomes of oppression and disregard for our humanness. The pervasive pattern of police brutality towards people of color and individuals with disabilities show a clear pattern of disregard for understanding, respect, and compassion. The unequal devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic on Black households and people with disabilities is a glaring example of disparity and its ugly, life-ending consequences. We must swiftly demand new policies and laws to address systemic inequities that have persisted far too long and resulted in generational trauma. The time is now.

In solidarity and with hope and resolve,

Amy Hewitt

Director, Institute on Community Integration