2020 Community Statement
Dear Convergence Community,
Like many of you, we were shocked and outraged at the murder of George Floyd witnessed around the world. It has left us angry, upset, hurt, shocked, and a host of other emotions because of how close to home it hits for many in our community. There is absolutely no acceptable reason why he should not be alive today, and his death exposed the undercurrent of systemic racism that runs through our society. We did not want to let that pass without a response, but then Ahmaud Arbery came to light…and then Breonna Taylor…and every time we would revise this statement, a new situation or a new development arose. It has been nearly impossible to keep up with the constant revelations of systemic racism and abuse by those who are in positions of power and law enforcement.
And surrounding this, we had a global pandemic. A virus that has circulated the globe, killing people, isolating people, crashing economies and social structures. And it has hit close to home as many in our own Convergence Community have been affected, falling ill, losing jobs, overwhelmed with stress and anxiety. Our convention had to be postponed. Our world has literally been on fire and it has been hard to know exactly what we can do to bring some reassurance, some calm, some security to all of us.
And then, recently, we awoke to something new. Recently, the world shifted in a direction that has been a long time coming, and very sorely needed as our country chose a new direction. And while not perfect, not finished, and not complete, it was the first step and inspiration struck.
There is still much work to be done and in keeping with that idea, we want to let you know that we are committed to you, our community in the following:
- Regardless of any individuals we may know who seem to us to be examples of what law enforcement should be, there is something tragically wrong at the very core of the institution of police. The practice has not lived up to its purpose, and throughout the police departments across the country, the “bad apples” are much more plentiful than is imagined and they are in positions of leadership. This corrupts the very institution that is supposed to serve and protect. Until such a time as the institution itself is repaired, until the very idea of police officers isn’t striking fear into the heart of our community, we cannot, in good conscience, support their involvement as a measure of security and will not be choosing to use them for that purpose going forward.
- We will continue to work on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion and lean in to ensuring everyone in our community is represented and feels welcome.
- The Convergence Community is more than a hotel, a convention or mascot, it is a community. And as a community, we are going to branch out into new ways to help and support each other and establish partnerships to connect our members to resources around health and wellbeing, safety and security, employment and education. We are over 6000 members and amongst those we have the ability for each of us to lend a hand when we are able and lean in when we need to. We will support each other.
- We will commit to developing new and refining existing ways to keep our community connected year round through social media, online programming, in person events when they are safe, and simple connections to each other. We will make sure that every member knows that they are not alone, they are part of a community.
This is a new day and there is new light, and most importantly, there is much work to be done. We welcome your ideas and suggestions, but also your time and commitment. To make our community better will take all of us, helping where we can and supporting one another.
We are in community together.
Amy, Ansley, Luis, Michael, Nadim, Stephanie and Jonathan
Convergence Board of Directors