MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Black Lives Matter Memphis Chapter and Memphis Grassroots Organizations Coalition have issued a response to the community meeting that took place Monday at Greater Imani Church, in which they encouraged Memphians to keep putting pressure on the system and city officials.
“It is important to remember that this is a movement, not a moment, and our goal is to challenge and dismantle systems that are unjust and oppressive. We encourage those who attended yesterday’s meeting to commit to this work for the long haul.”
BLM Memphis said although it wasn’t the one to organize the protest Sunday, members were there in solidarity with protesters, and the group is “proud of what was accomplished under the banner of #BlackLivesMatter.”
The group’s response to the meeting highlighted the city’s poverty rate and the number of people killed by Memphis police officers since 2012, both of which disproportionately affect black residents.
“It is clear that the community members’ responses were a direct result of living in deplorable conditions for years.”
BLM Memphis and Memphis Grassroots Organizations Coalition said there are concerns and questions that still need to be addressed, and “the onus cannot be placed on the backs of the Black people who are most affected by these conditions.”
The organizations listed police reform, educational resources, job security, a living wage, reproductive justice and adequate housing as changes Memphis needs, especially in black communities.
“We will no longer sit idly by while injustice continues to reign in our city and country.”