Dear Twin Cities Lindy Hop Community,
Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of George Floyd here in Minneapolis and throughout the nation. As dancers and a community that has already felt the effects of isolation during COVID-19, words are not enough to express the pain and loss as we grieve. For many of us, when we step outside we can see the evidence of the destruction rooted in centuries of racial injustice and police violence. The injustices of systematic racism have affected our fellow Black and Brown dancers for much longer than these past several weeks. We must stand together with the Black community to create lasting change.
The dance we love is rooted in the Black community. The music we dance to is rooted in the Black community. We love the joy this dance brings to us each week, and for many of us this is the positive energy we require to make it through the day-to-day. Now, we have the opportunity to take that energy and connection and use it to work towards racial justice and build a better future. We cannot let this moment pass us by – we can change the system together.
To show our commitment, Rhythm Junction has donated $1000 to the Minneapolis Foundation for #RestoreNorth to support the Northside businesses that have been impacted by recent events. We will also donate a percentage of all future proceeds to charities that support Black communities.
As leaders of the Lindy Hop community, we are committed to the following actions. We encourage all those who have shared in the joy of Lindy Hop to do the same.
- Check in on your fellow BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) dancers. Back in 2018, the Minneapolis Lindy Hop community held each other accountable for the effects of systematic racism. We came up with a list of suggestions for helping to lessen the effects of systemic racism in our own community:
- Reaching out in person (or maybe now, socially distant) to a variety of people.
- Extending invitations (to discussions, events, etc.).
- Attending talks/events and sharing conversations about culture and history.
- Paying attention to, listening to, and validating others’ experiences.
- Educate yourself and commit to educating your friends, family, colleagues, and community members. Resources include:
- Commit publicly to denouncing police violence and other forms of systematic, institutionalized racism. If you are local, sign on to the Reclaim the Block petition.
- Donate. Redistribute the wealth that has been concentrated in white spaces towards organizations doing the work. See this live updated list for organizations in the Twin Cities. The Lake Street Council has also organized this fundraiser to support businesses on Lake Street.
Yours in Solidarity,
The Rhythm Junction Advisory Committee