A Letter to Our Community

June 01, 2020

To Our Community,

We are heartbroken and horrified by the tragic killing of George Floyd.  The events of the last week have made clear the deep trauma and heartache present in our  community.  We are confronted by the senseless and familiar story of an unarmed African American man dying after  an interaction with a police officer.  Again, this story happened in own own backyard.  While this is familiar, Sabathani in no way accepts this as normal.

Our hearts are with the family and friends of George Floyd in their time of grief.  We share in the anguish and outrage felt throughout our community and across the country.  To everyone experiencing  the trauma of this moment, we join you in mourning and in sorrow.

We also appreciate the call by Mayor Jacob Frey that the officer who killed George Floyd be charged and prosecuted, and urge the same for those officers who stood and watched this killing happen.  We further support the appointment by  Governor Waltz of Attorney  General Keith Ellison to lead the investigation and prosecution of those involved in the killing.  Quick action is absolutely critical in order to address these injustices.

It is important to take stock of the times we are living in.  The Minneapolis / St Paul area is often high on lists of “best place to live.”  While the Twin Cities , and South Minneapolis, are beautiful, vibrant metropolitan areas, the facts speak to a different lived experience for people of color in the United States.  The economics and educational disparities in the Twin Cities are striking and unacceptable.  We need and indeed must do better.

Sabathani has been and will continue to be a beacon and stand with those who demand an end to systemic and institutionalized racism that impacts every aspect of our lives.  Our mission compels us to do so.

Please take care of yourselves, your loved ones, and our community.


Mary Merrill, Interim Executive Director for Sabathani Community Center and the Board of Sabathani Community Center

Mary Merrill, Executive Director
Katie Pfeifer, Board Chair
William English, Board Vice Chair
Rev. Ian Bethel, Board Member
Carmen, Means, Board Member

Maurice Hudson, Board Treasurer
Carolyn Henry, Board Member
Tammy McIntyre, Board Member

Anthony Scott , Board Member
Heidi Adelsman, Board Member
Beverly Franklin, Board Member