To say the last week has been difficult would be a gross understatement. The senseless killing of George Floyd by members of our Minneapolis police force has sparked outrage, protests, and riots, all fueled by the pain, anger, and frustration felt by so many in our Twin Cities community as we once again are confronted with the stark reality of the historical injustices and systemic inequities faced by our black friends, neighbors, and colleagues.

As a community, we must do better. Be better. The racial, social, and economic disparities we face in the Twin Cities are real and they won’t go away unless we as business leaders actively take action to effect real and lasting change.

I was struck by a paragraph in the letter Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, sent to Apple employees yesterday. It read, “This is a moment when many people may want nothing more than a return to normalcy, or to a status quo that is only comfortable if we avert our gaze from injustice. As difficult as it may be to admit, that desire is itself a sign of privilege. George Floyd’s death is shocking and tragic proof that we must aim far higher than a ‘normal’ future, and build one that lives up to the highest ideals of equality and justice.”

We need to leverage our collective influence, power, and privilege to build a more just and equitable community, one where everyone has the opportunity to achieve and live the prosperous lives they deserve. This is a defining time for us, and I hope we can look back five years from now and know that this was the moment when real social change began to take hold. The moment when George Floyd’s life eternally mattered.

As a sign of respect and solidarity, we will not be holding any events this week so that the attention of our community can be focused on healing and re-building.

The Minnesota Technology Association is committed to doing its part as we work to build the more equitable and inclusive community we all aspire to see.  We are proud to be your partners in this important work.

In solidarity,

Jeff Tollefson
President & CEO
Minnesota Technology Association