Dear Mississippi Market Co-op Community,

I write this with sadness, anger, and frustration over the continued violence experienced by people of color in our communities. The recent murder of George Floyd is tragic, unjust, and unfortunately too common.

Now is a time for our communities to collectively grieve, reflect, express our anger, and find ways to support each other. In many cases these emotions are being expressed through peaceful demonstration but there have been acts of violence as well. Last night over 100 businesses in St. Paul were vandalized, including our Selby store which had the exterior and interior glass doors as well as the cash office window broken.

While this violence is challenging it’s important to note that it pales in comparison to the systemic racism and violence towards people of color that our society, government, and businesses have perpetuated throughout history. A quote I saw another business reference from Frederick Douglass helped me have a context for what’s happening right now.

“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”

When appeals to be heard repeatedly fall on deaf ears, when normal channels don’t work, there can be eruptions of rage that boil over. And this is what we are experiencing now. With the news this afternoon of the arrest and charges against the police officer who murdered George Floyd, I ask you to join me in demanding justice.

Every person and organization must do what we can to combat racism and injustice wherever it is found. This includes Mississippi Market. I am committed to working for an organization that works each day to be a better and more inclusive version of itself. I will be relying upon the collective wisdom of our staff, members, and community as we chart this path forward, we can do better.

In cooperation,

Catherine Downey
Interim General Manager
cdowney@msmarket.coop