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All of us at Interact are writing today to express our profound sadness at the death of George Floyd, and to express our deepest compassion for his family and friends.

Mr. Floyd’s death at the hands of those who are sworn to protect and serve all of our citizens is a stark reminder of the injustice and racism that people of color experience every day here in Minnesota, and across the nation. The image of his head pinned against the pavement under the knee of a policeman – and intentionally held there until he died – is seared into our collective consciousness.

As a company of artists with disabilities, we hold the value of radical inclusion and justice for marginalized peoples above all else. Today, we stand alongside Mr. Floyd and the many innocent Black people who have been killed at the hands of law enforcement before him. We stand in grief, and we stand with the hope of a better day.

Many of us are in quarantine now and are unable to take part in the peaceful gatherings of remembrance that honor George Floyd. Yet we are inspired by the power of murals and other artwork being created to mark this moment in history, and offered in the spirit that it will never happen again. We turn to our own creativity to stand in solidarity with those mourners. Please read the powerful poem written by one of our artists below.

Jeanne Calvit
Executive Director/Founder

George Floyd, Our Son, You Called Out To Us

By Interact Artist, Davida Kilgore, May 2020

when your cries fell upon a deaf ear, and your life
pleas sadistically ignored, you offered
up your last prayer … “momma, momma”
and our nipples leaked, ran red, our wombs
convulsed, the pain bearable because death
is but change from being … to being …
while your earth mother … mothers … grandmomma …
nanas … sistahs … aunties … grieve, our arms
opened, we received you, forever holding
environments, we will never let you go …
we are your familiars, your protectors even then,
now, into the future, we are: Aberewa, Amma,
and Asaase Afua, the African goddesses,
also Mbaba Mwana Waresa, we are: Oshun
and Oya, the priestesses, many know not
of us, but we knew you before birth; we
have always had the power of sight, we,
and our sisters: Maman Brigitte
and Erzulie, have prepared your place
with oils; we wrapped our arms about you
upon your arrival as we were never able
to swath our own, we are: Shalon and Kira
and Amber Rose, we will nourish and sustain
you; we heard your prayer, sweet George,
and standing among the lilacs at the gate,
breathed life back into your nostrils, the singer
was correct, there is an afterlife when we die,
and your mother … your mothers …
… your grandmommas … your nanas … your
sistahs … your aunties … left behind will avenge
you, as black mothers, in one profound way or another,
always have.

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