We are encouraged that our judicial system, which at times can be seen as broken, has delivered justice for George Floyd. Jurors were placed in a difficult situation and were able to listen to the testimony and deliver a verdict based on that evidence. The jury considered the facts and the law and found that Derick Chauvin acted in a criminal manner and he will be punished for his actions.
We know that George Floyd received justice today, but we know his family did not. We know that Black Lives DO Matter. We know, too, that people of color in Macomb may not believe their lives matter here; they may not believe their innate dignity is recognized; or they may not believe they are welcome members of the community. It is the collective job of the community to shatter these beliefs, to make sure that all community members know and believe how important each is to Macomb. Macomb’s strength resides in its diversity. Who are we? We are supporters of Shared Community Action to Promote Communication and Cooperation (SCA), the joint effort of leaders of civic and religious organizations who came together early this year to discuss how they and their members could support the city’s efforts to strengthen dialogue and cooperation among the diverse members of the Macomb community.
Organization leaders were invited to help create and maintain the kind of dialogue and interaction necessary to realize long-term cooperation and community-building and to help ensure that Macomb would be, for all its residents, the welcoming community it aspires to be. We have a lot of work to do, but the commitment of each of these representative organizations is one step toward realizing a diverse, welcoming community for all people. The group’s underlying purpose is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and “the recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family.” More specifically, participants seek to strengthen dialogue and communication across our shared humanity, to develop ways individuals and organizations can contribute to an equitable and just, healthy and strong community, and to confront barriers that keep community members apart and, knowingly or unknowingly, undermine community building.
We are committed to working with everyone in Macomb who supports these goals, including our law enforcement officers, who in collaboration with the NAACP, have adopted the Ten Shared Principles (https://www.ilchiefs.org/press-releasse-shared-principles) and have been accredited by the Illinois Law Enforcement Accreditation Program (https://www.ilchiefs.org/ileap-illinois-law-enforcement-accreditation-program-). Both programs call for a clear commitment to fairness, cooperation, and equity.
Such a commitment does not fall on one group alone. The entire community must assume this responsibility if Macomb is to realize its aspirations, to recognize the humanity of each of its residents, and to be its best self. We invite those interested in taking on the challenge of an ever-deepening commitment to justice and equity to become involved in the Shared Community Action Project or in another organization working to meet this challenge. To learn more about SCA, contact the Mayor’s Office at 309/833-2558.
Macomb Shared Community Action Group
J.Q. Adams – ACE Advisor
Brenda Allison – GFWC Women’s Club
Scott Coker – City of Macomb
Jane Coplan – League of Women Voters
Katerina Dawson – Member SCA
Jim Ditulio – Macomb Centennial Morning Rotary Club
Sally Egler – Macomb Feminist Network
Jock Hedblade – Macomb Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
Guiyou Huang – Western Illinois University
Sharon Hunter – Member SCA
Vanessa Huston – One Human Family – Macomb
Kelly Ingersoll – Macomb Area Christian Ministerial Alliance
Michael Inman – City of Macomb
Rob Jeter – Member SCA
Jerel Jones – City of Macomb
John Meixner – Regional Office of Education #26
Lauren Merritt – Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce
Lorette Oden – Member SCA
Kim Pierce – Macomb Area Economic Development Corporation
Janice Rockwell – Interfaith Alliance of Macomb
Sterling Sadler – University Diversity Council
Lisa Scalf – City of Macomb
Sarah Schoper Salazar – One Human Family - Macomb
Byron Shabazz – McDonough County Branch NAACP #3022
Carol Sims – Member SCA
Kristin Terry – Suicide Survivor Group
Lisa Torrance – University of Illinois Extension
Derek Watts – Office of Public Safety – WIU
Janice Welsch – ACE Liaison