MADISON, Wis. — This past weekend, protests erupted across Wisconsin and the nation over the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others, as well as the increasingly violent police reaction to peaceful demonstrations. Opportunity Wisconsin stands in solidarity with the families, protestors, and people across our state who live in fear of state-sanctioned violence and oppression.

Today Opportunity Wisconsin released the following statement from Dr. Selika Ducksworth-Lawton, an Opportunity Wisconsin steering committee member:

“I was horrified to watch the killing of George Floyd by police and the violent reactions of police toward peaceful demonstrators around the country. They are reminders that the injustices we see in our society are not incidental. They are built into our system. America’s economy was built on the backs of Black and Brown people who were commodified, and that same system still exists today. Opportunity Wisconsin stands in solidarity with our friends and neighbors across the Badger State, and others nationwide, who are protesting this injustice and demanding real change.

“Here in Wisconsin, we see the ravages of systemic oppression all around us: we see it when Black voters are purged from the voter rolls, or when they’re forced to wait in line for hours to cast their vote during a pandemic, or when we see that despite making up just 26% of the population, Black people in Milwaukee make up 80% of coronavirus deaths.

“We need leaders who act with compassion, speak truthfully, and hold accountable a justice system that has abused and neglected Black and Brown people for far too long. The fight for racial justice is crucial to the fight for opportunity for every Wisconsinite.”

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