A Public Statement in Response to the Murder of George Floyd From LSS Board Chairs and CEO
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, one of the largest social service organizations in our state, has a responsibility to Minnesotans in all 87 counties we serve – to stand for opportunity, equity and justice. We show this through person-centered services and programs that support more than 100,000 Minnesotans every year. This includes supporting individuals with disabilities to live their best lives, youth experiencing homelessness to find stability, and older adults to continue living safely in their own homes – among many other examples.
LSS’ vision is for all people to have the opportunity to live and work in community with full and abundant lives. Our service is rooted in the Lutheran faith – a faith that recognizes that every person is created in God’s own image and is therefore worthy of love, respect and dignity. In addition, our Lutheran faith recognizes that God is especially active in times of suffering and despair – which means that right now, our faith fills us with trust that God is and will be with us as we try to find creative and transformational ways to change unjust systems and build community.
The events of the last week following the murder of George Floyd have shed a harsh light on just how much more we must do as an organization and as a community. A large number of our services are provided in the neighborhoods and in support of individuals most profoundly impacted by systemic inequity and systemic injustice. More than a decade ago, LSS of MN took a public anti-racism stand. While we have been learning and working in this arena with a deep commitment, it has become glaringly clear that this strong stance calls for sustained action in order to advance social change.
As we write this, LSS staff across the state are organizing efforts to support our most affected communities. Many of these staff are also personally affected by the trauma of systemic racism yet show up every day with positive attitudes and consistent productivity that benefits each employee and person we support. We acknowledge their strength and their limits, and are working on resources to provide additional support to them.
Precisely because LSS is one of the largest social service organizations in the state, it is our responsibility to rally our resources behind action for systemic change – starting with fulfilling immediate needs, such as offering LSS Meals in communities that are suddenly food deserts and continuing to implement longer-term solutions. We ask our supporters, partners, and friends to work with us to fight against systems of injustice and join us in loving all of our neighbors and paving the way for all people to live and work in community with full and abundant lives.
|Pastor Michele Abbott
LSS Foundation Board Chair
LSS Governing Board Chair
Statement in Response to George Floyd’s Death
Thursday, May 28, 2020
Every person has inherent worth and dignity.
We stand with our neighbors in south Minneapolis and across Minnesota united in grief at the tragic death of George Floyd. We see and acknowledge the pain in our community. Many are experiencing tremendous hurt; this includes our own employees and people we support.
Events this week demonstrate the importance and value of the work being done by many to further a just and fair society. The work toward dignity and respect for all people must continue.
As an anti-racist organization, we recommit ourselves to our mission to change lives and build community. We will continue to learn and advocate as we work earnestly toward our vision that all people have opportunity to live and work in community with full and abundant lives.
Today, we extend our thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of George Floyd. We also pray for peace, hope, healing and justice in our community – and invite you to do the same. Mr. Floyd’s life and death matter. Let’s honor his life by working together to co-create a community where all of us find meaningful ways to truly love and respect one another.