The Iowa City Human Rights Commission stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

We are part of a society where the lives of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color continue to be affected by structural racism, lack of opportunity, health disparities, and direct violence by the police and others.  American cities, including Iowa City, have for too long been complacent or complicit.

The Iowa City Human Rights Commission hereby reaffirms its longstanding commitment, and pledges to more fully act in solidarity with all who are targets of this violence and inequity.

The Commission recognizes the ongoing oppression occurring not just in police departments, but also eviction courts, legislatures, banks, academia, and hospitals.  Additionally, this includes any space where Iowa City has been complacent about and complicit in the eradication of intellectual and cultural contributions by Black, Indigenous and People of Color, as well as women, and ignores the racism present in the contributions of white people and the sexism present in the works of males.

We pledge the following actions to embody our affirmation that Black Lives Matter.

  • We will continue to uplift the contributions of nonwhite, non-male, and non-Eurocentric people in our recommendations to the Iowa City City Council and support events dedicated to their recognition.
  • We will actively confront racism, sexism, or other forms of bias within the work of the Commission or City of Iowa City by pursuing training to increase our awareness of our racism, sexism and bias.
  • We will support City departments’ efforts to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • We will plan and promote additional programming opportunities focused on understanding oppression and recognizing the contributions of people from underrepresented groups, as well as promoting widespread discussion of related issues and concerns.

The differential valuing of life, achievement, opportunity, and intellectual and cultural contributions based on which racialized group one is thought to be a member of is manifestly unjust.  It compels us to repeat, internalize, and act on the affirmation that Black lives matter.  Black lives do matter, and our collective practices, discourses, policies, and laws must reflect this.  Black lives matter for the same reason that everyone’s life matters; yet we are compelled to affirm that Black lives matter precisely because institutions, practices, and behaviors have so long denied it.

We are committed to continuously engaging the people of our community in dialogue and action to realize a world in which “Black lives matter” is a simple description of how we all live.

Until that world is achieved, we stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Date of publication

Thursday, July 01, 2021