The Loft and the Community We Love
One week ago today, Minneapolis and the world witnessed the murder of George Floyd by members of the Minneapolis Police Department. Our community and country has a long, permissive legacy of police violence and trauma aimed at the Black community. The Loft unequivocally stands with the #BlackLivesMatter and #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd protests and movement.
The fires, looting, and property damage are also tragic, but they cannot distract or let us lose sight of the far more important issue: people are dying and until justice is served and equality is delivered, our community is neither safe nor humane. That is the challenge before us all.
Across the world, one of the most important aspects for healing from community trauma is storytelling. Truth commissions have been used in countless hotspots around the world. Much of their effort involves compiling, sharing, and acting on personal narratives and shared memories. When the Loft says that story and verse can be the center of civic life, this is what we mean.
These stories can no longer be put up on the shelf. Voices like Danez Smith need to be heard, shared, and absorbed; they need to challenge each one of us to explore our own roles and find change within ourselves and our community.
The Twin Cities are full of generosity and hope. The Loft is here for Minneapolis and St. Paul. We're here to make sure our community voices are amplified and carried toward a better tomorrow. Through our anger, grief, love, stories, and shared humanity, we will be back, stronger.
In solidarity and peace,
Executive Director, The Loft Literary Center
**June 4 Update**
Our mission at the Loft is to foster a literary community in the Twin Cities and beyond. We are committed to ensuring that everyone who enters our space feels safe, comfortable, and supported as members of our community. The recent and historical actions of the Minneapolis Police Department do not align with these values; as such, the Loft will no longer contract with MPD for special events. We will instead work to develop and implement safety measures that keep us true to our identity as a haven for all readers and writers.