Earlier this week we sent the following letter to our camper families to provide resources as once again we learn of the devastating deaths of Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo and Ma’Khia Bryant due to police actions. Even in the wake of the conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, our community is still navigating trauma, racial strife and uncertainty.
The resources listed below are not exhaustive by any means, but a place to start the conversation with your family, friends and colleagues. There are resources to find additional mental health support.
Furthermore, Sherwood Forest Staff and members of the board recently made a financial gift directly to the family of Daunte Wright Senior. It is our hope that this financial gift will enable Daunte Wright Junior to have every opportunity in life to overcome the trauma and stigma so heavily burdening a child of not quite two years, and to ease the stress and suffering of Daunte Junior’s mother and bereaved partner of Daunte Senior, Chyna Whitaker.
We are asking at this time, if you are able to make a contribution either for the family of, or in memory of Daunte, Adam, Ma’Khia or any other victims of police violence you would like to memorialize by choosing an organization such as: https://www.aclu.org/, https://www.aclu-mo.org/ or https://www.aclu-mn.org/
Sherwood Forest is steadfast in its commitment to anti-racism, equity, and our community, and we ask that you stand with us in denouncing these senseless acts, and supporting the larger world community as we once again find ourselves in the wake of senseless violence.
This week has been a roller coaster of emotions and thoughts for many of our families and staff members. On Tuesday the Staff at Sherwood Forest shared in a collective sigh of relief as news broke of the conviction of ex-police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd— a conviction that only provides a small measure of policy accountability for those who have longed for justice in unjustified police killings. However, even as the verdict was read, a young black teenager, Ma’Khia Bryant, was killed by police in Columbus, Ohio.
Some of us know intimately the pain, confusion, anger, and fear felt by our BIPOC Campers and Families. Some of us can only sense it in our clearest moments of empathy, but we are ALL united in our vision for an anti-racist future, and we are ALL united in service to our community.
In this difficult period of pandemic, social distancing, remote learning, racial injustice, and social unrest, we wanted to reach out to our campers and camper families and share some resources that we have found helpful in navigating these arduous times.
How to Talk Honestly With Children About Racism
Talking About Race: Being Antiracist
Listen to Dr. Kira Banks’ Podcast
Virtual Program: Racism Is a Health Crisis – 21-Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge
We hope this information will help your family have productive and healing conversations about police violence against BIPOC, race equity and social justice. And we hope that the Derek Chauvin guilty verdicts represent a new chapter in holding police fully accountable for excessively violent policing.
We are always here to support our families and our campers on the long and trying journey to a society that is truly anti-racist. We hope these resources will help you in navigating that path with us.
Interim Executive Director