In this time of social unrest and racial discord, we are often being asked, "What can we do?" Our answer is to engage, lead, and create change. Now is the time to come together and face the tough questions, engage in meaningful dialogue about actionable change that makes a difference in the lives of our community and beyond. Over the last two weeks, many demonstrations across our country have become violent as residents protest police brutality and the senseless killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Rayshard Brooks.
Community institutions have been burned, property has been destroyed and people are hurting because they believe the current system is broken.
That hasn’t been the case with Lubbock protests, which have been mostly peaceful. On Monday, June 1, 2020, city officials in conjunction with the 100 Black Men of West Texas gathered outside at the Lubbock police department headquarters to prove it’s possible to rally and protest without violence. As the march neared Citizen’s Tower, everyone stood in silence as we listened to the names of individuals that had lost their lives to police brutality.
We are now at a tipping point in our country about the role police should play in today’s society. We can choose to work together to bring about the necessary change that is so desperately needed, or simply turn our back on the problem that systemic racial inequities will just “fix itself”.
The 100 Black Men of West Texas are committed to supporting the positive change needed in our country and in our local community. For over 25 years we have been committed to transforming the lives of underrepresented and disenfranchised youth and providing programmatic services in education, health and wellness, economic development and leadership. Many of the members in our chapter are leaders of other organizations in our local community and serve as trailblazers and role models for our youth. By example and through leadership training, our members work tirelessly to help empower mentees to build character and create hope, aspirations, plans, and futures.
Whether you are a current member of the 100, community member, supporter, or just joining the conversation, we are thankful for your desire to make a difference. We invite you to join our Call to Action campaign and pursue lasting improvements in the Lubbock community. Learn more about how the 100 are making an impact by visiting www.100bmwt.org.
Nathaniel S. Wright is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Texas Tech University. He holds a Ph.D. In Public Administration from the University of Kansas. His research areas include public and nonprofit management, urban policy, and community sustainability. He also works with nonprofits to provide strategy consulting and leadership development through his consulting firm, The Wright Strategy LLC.