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News & Press: MWL News

MWL Statement Regarding George Floyd

Friday, May 29, 2020  
Posted by: Debra Pexa

For Immediate Release:
May 29, 2020


Ruth Bader Ginsburg often repeats a quote by 19th century activist Sarah Grimke in the context of gender equality: “All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks.” This week the metaphor became tragically literal when George Floyd was shown on video, begging to be allowed to breathe, while a police officer kneeled on his neck for more than five minutes. Other officers did not intervene as Mr. Floyd was killed.  We join our community in mourning the tragic death of Mr. Floyd and we stand with those who have been deeply affected by this violence.  Furthermore, although we are heartened that an investigation has begun, justice must be strong and swift. 


Minnesota Women Lawyers also recognizes that at a time like this, words are not enough. We cannot simply “demand justice” and leave it at that. We will not  issue a press release and walk away. To be true allies to our community members of color and to other affinity bar associations, and to be true to the mission we have set for ourselves to “advance the success of women lawyers and strive for a just society,” we must walk toward this injustice and be present and active. 


MWL stands in support of the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers, the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association and other bar and community organizations who have made powerful statements related to Mr. Floyd’s death at the hands of law enforcement. We must all be compelled to listen, learn, speak up and commit to doing the difficult but absolutely essential work of addressing racial injustice and violence across our communities.  


Equity is a core value of MWL. What happened in our community this week makes us painfully aware of the work that remains to strive for a just society. We will soon share details regarding a Twin Cities Diversity in Practice program, offering strategies for coping after this traumatic event. Furthermore, as we continue conversations about our pain and anger, we will provide information regarding other available resources and events in our community.  MWL welcomes the input and involvement of our community as we process this tragedy and move forward together. 


Amy Taber


On Behalf of the Directors of Minnesota Women Lawyers



NOTE: MWL will continue to update this page with additional information and resources.






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