Statement: In pursuit of equity and justice

Jun 2, 2020
George Floyd Memorial

We stand with CEE’s employees, our partners, and the communities we serve who support the pursuit of justice and equity for all, and oppose police brutality, violence, and racial injustice in any form. We are sickened and saddened by the events of this past week, beginning with the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who cried out for help.

For decades, CEE has worked in partnership with diverse communities of every racial and ethnic minority across Minneapolis and Saint Paul. For lasting change, we rely on the diverse perspectives and local wisdom that help us focus on people-centered solutions tailored to serve everyone. Across the board, our mission-driven efforts align to foster an energy economy with cost-effective, practical approaches to promote prosperity for all.

Among the casualties of the past week are many small businesses along Lake Street, University Avenue, Broadway, and across the Twin Cities metro. With a longstanding commitment to entrepreneurs and the small business community, CEE has directly invested in 1,200 businesses in urban corridors such as those affected. We must collaborate to rebuild the small businesses that have suffered from misplaced anger and destruction — you can bet that CEE will be there as they rebuild, and we will help secure greater resources for future prosperity.

Moreover, we pledge to support community-building without losing sight of the central issues that brought us to this tragic crossroads: The violence of this past week underscores generations of inequities that burden Minnesota’s communities of color; centuries of institutionalized racism; state-sanctioned systems that advance some Minnesotans while penalizing others based on the color of their skin; and a dangerous police force that has lost, or never earned, the trust of the very people it exists to protect and serve.

The Twin Cities have a lot of work to do on many fronts, and action is more important than commitment.

Minneapolis is home for many of us, and the past week has given us cause to view our home with shame, disappointment, anger, and deep sadness. But as painful as it has been, it has also laid bare some empowering opportunities if we recognize and seize upon them.

We have an opportunity in this moment, and in the months and years to come, to reflect on the institutions and systems that feed such violence and to consider how we — as individuals and as a community-based nonprofit — can help provide resources, improve systems, and contribute to a thriving region. We have an opportunity to change our own systems and behavior to drive lasting change.

At CEE, we are committed to seizing this opportunity and focusing on the future, in active pursuit of equity, justice, and prosperity for all.


Resource links

George Floyd Memorial Fund 
Second Harvest Heartland (fighting food insecurity)
Minnesota Freedom Fund (direct bail for peaceful protesters)
MIGIZI (resource for indigenous youth that has lost their roof and archives)  
Black Visions Collective (MN nonprofit committed to creating autonomous black communities)
​Lake Street Council (A fund to help Lake Street rebuild small businesses) 
Broadway Ave N: Rebuild effort
University Avenue: Rebuild effort
Minnesota Voter Registration


Image rights: Lorie Shaul via cc