We were devastated when we learned that Charleena Lyles was killed after an interaction with the Seattle Police Department this weekend. Charleena was killed after calling the police for help. We know that the systemic devaluing of black lives, the racism, that leads to injustices like this reinforce the transphobia we work so hard to undo. We know that trans and gender nonconcorming people, in particular trans and gender nonconforming people of color, are more likely to be arrested or detained when calling for support from the police than receive the support they need. This is not, unfortunately, a rare instance for many in our communities. We stand with many in the community in calling for a full and fair investigation of what happened to Charleena. 


As we look toward a weekend of being in community and commemorating Pride here in Seattle we know it's important to pause in this moment and reflect on our vision and the work ahead. As we here at Ingersoll work towards a world that nurtures healthy communities free from violence, centers self-determination for all people, and celebrates all gender identities and expressions we know our work will not be done until #blacklivesmatter. We are driven to work towards a future in which violence of this nature is not common place and all people have access to their ful self determination. 


Again, we know that the systemic devaluing of black lives, the racism, that leads to injustices like this reinforce the transphobia we work so hard to undo; that systemic racism and transphobia are intrinsically linked. We will continue to seek out ways to challenge the systems that devalue black lives as we understand that challenging these systems will always contribute to a world that celebrates all gender identities and expressions free from violence. We have a shared responsibility to dismantle the multiple forms of oppression (racism, misogyny, ableism, sexism, classism, homophobia, transphobia among others) that the trans and gender nonconforming folks we serve face. We are committed to doing this work internally and in our communities.    


One concrete step we're taking today is to find ways to support Charleena's family and her children. You can find out more information on how to best do that by checking in with these folks: Sand Point Elementary PTA, No New Youth Jail Seattle, Solid Ground and The Station