Over the past few months our hearts have been broken as we watch our nation grapple with the death of innocent black men and women at the hands of the police. These moments have caused us not just to reflect as sisters and brothers in Christ but also as “We the People” in a democracy. Once again, we are voicing our frustration with injustice in our cities. These frustrations are larger than law enforcement. From Selma to Ferguson to Baltimore, we’ve witnessed the damaging effects of failing to invest in our cities.
Structural racism and injustice has perpetuated the polarization of communities of color in cities across America and influences public policies that disproportionately disadvantage people of color. We as a nation must do better. Cities have been experiencing a decline in revenue, which is magnified by the federal government’s steady decline in community investment, like cutting the Community Development Block Grant program. This has led to poor educational outcomes for children, massive foreclosures, and high rates of unemployment.
We can do better—we must fund programs that strengthen our communities, not militarize them.