In support of the People’s Collective for Change

In support of the People’s Collective for Change

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I learned about the People’s Collective for Change (PCC), organized by a few smart, strong, young people in our community. Their mission is to pioneer work towards an end to systemic racism and a community that reflects equality and justice for all.

When they made the call to action to participate in protest for Black Lives Matter, of course, as a member of this community, I showed up in support and participated, as we all should. There is no place for for racism, ever. We should all agree on that.

However, as I write this, there is a march for the very oppressors the Black Lives Matter protests are bringing to light -- the police force. I’m not singling out officers in Napa and not every one of them may be racist, but the system as a whole was forged from slavery. If you’ve watched or read one single second or piece of news, or listened to your friends and neighbors, you’d be aware of the many injustices and lives taken at the hands of police.

This is not the time to support the system of policing, nor is it the time to congratulate our Napa Police Department. It is a time to reflect, listen, support, activate and change.

I heard many stories about specific incidences of racism in Napa at the protest, many of them to children. Not only from our very Napa Police that people are marching in support of right now, but from our schools, our principals, our students and “friends,” our counselors, our neighbors, our parents, and on and on.

Systemic racism is real and it’s everywhere. We as a community and in all of the world should stand up and say, 'Enough is enough.' We need to take a hard look at who our leaders are in the city, our education system, our police force, etc, and decide who we want to represent us and serve us, where and how we want to allocate our funds.

Thank you to the PCC for shining a bright light, educating the community, and for sharing your painful stories. I hope we can all learn from one another and make this community a place that we all love to call 'home.'

Please know this (and there are many other neighbors like me): I stand with you. I support you. I will vote with you. I will run with you. I will love you. And I won’t stop until we have justice and equality for all.

Maral Papakhian

Napa

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