An engaged Alaskan democracy

Alaska Common Ground Statement 6-4-20

The events of this past week, sparked by the murder of George Floyd, have shined an undeniable spotlight on the systemic racism in this country. We, the Board of Alaska Common Ground, stand in solidarity with Black lives. We stand against the legacies of racism and violence that have attempted to silence Black and Indigenous voices, and all People of Color, for generations throughout this country including Alaska.

For 30 years Alaska Common Ground has committed to a just society and sustainable democracy by bringing together people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Here on the Indigenous land on which all Alaskans live containing two of the most diverse zip codes in the nation, we can imagine no more important time to provide a forum for such dialogue and to amplify the voices who have historically been left out of these conversations.

The weight of these past several months as we navigate a pandemic is immeasurable. Alaska was already facing economic challenges never before seen, and the coronavirus immediately propelled us to the brink of our economic cliff. It also exposed the enormous inequalities prevalent in our society.

Then last week, starting in Minneapolis, this weight intensified to a fever pitch across our country. The pain, hurt, and anger are undeniable and direct results of the deep injustices that have existed for generations in our society, including here in Alaska. 

We are living in a historical moment. Generations will look back and reflect upon the role we each played during these crucial and defining moments. We believe that legitimate reform and policy changes are necessary for us to move forward united as one country and one state.  Alaska Common Ground is committed to working with our community to be a part of the solution.

Our community must stand together as one against racism and injustice. We look forward to working with you to build a better country and a better state, not only for ourselves but also for our future generations.

The Alaska Common Ground Board
Dick Mylius (Chair), Katie Dougherty, Alyssa Bish, Janet Bidwell, Cliff Groh, Mary Lu Harle, Bill Hall, Hannah Laird, Janet McCabe, Stephanie Nichols, Helen Nienhueser, John Parsi, Peg Tileston, Danielle Williams and Program Coordinator, Kari Gardey.