Looted Mpls Business Owners of Color Need Our Help

MINNEAPOLIS, MN:
The retail center that my family has owned/managed for three generations has been critically damaged as part of the property destruction resulting from the protests and riots over George Floyd's tragic murder at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department. The tenants who own the stores have lost their means to provide for their families. This will likely leave them with no income, no ability to support themselves, and no clear way to move forward. PLEASE help these POC (people of color) small business owners have a chance to recover and move on.

Read on for more details past the photos.


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My name is Ezra Cohen. I am 20 years old and I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Through my whole life my grandfather, and then my father, have worked tirelessly to manage a medium-sized retail center in North Minneapolis named Broadway Center, located at 521-627 West Broadway Avenue. Countless trips to visit them at their second floor office and seeing them work, talk and build relationships with the managers and owners from a neighborhood so very racially and socioeconomically different than my own in its South Minneapolis bubble has been a significant and impactful part of my childhood that I will always remember.


Over the course of the nights of May 28, 29, and 30, all 18 of the 18 shops and businesses at Broadway Center  experienced intense looting, damage, and arson related to the broader protests of the death of George Floyd at the hands of the MPD. 9 of them are small businesses/franchises owned by local POC residents. Unless an astronomical amount of money is raised, these businesses will likely not survive. This fund is meant to ease the personal struggles of these local POC owners who may lose their livelihoods.


The 9 small businesses consist of:
Subway (locally owned franchisee)
Mobile One Boost
Foreign Lengths
Kingdom Kutz Barber
Kingdom Kutz Salon
Oriental Nail
Broadway Chow Mein
Seven Mile Beauty
Trendsetters


It's estimated that repair costs for each tenant will reach into the tens of thousands of dollars.  Already suffering heavily and on the brink of collapse due to coronavirus-related business restrictions, it's doubtful that some of these shops will survive. Individual tenants have communicated with my father that their insurance will not fully cover damage and destruction caused by riots. Your donation will go towards personal necessities for these people such as groceries, housing payments, etc.


Please, whether I know you personally or not, consider contributing. If you are a young person, please consider reaching out to family to see if they are able to contribute as well.






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Perhaps even more so than the rest of America, Minneapolis is a tale of two cities. While I have lived in the same house in South Minneapolis for my entire life -- only 10 minutes away from the site of Mr. Floyd's tragic death, which I would pass every day on my drive to and from middle and high school -- as a white person I have never been negatively exposed to the institutional racism that is ever-present for people of color. Just a couple years ago Minnesota was ranked as the 2nd worst state in terms of racial equality, and the city of Minneapolis has long been known to be one of the most segregated cities in the country. However, as a white person living in Minneapolis with many of my white friends living in mostly white suburbs and having gone to a predominantly white private high school it is not just super easy but natural to pass over this and the difference in police treatment that accompanies it. Why wouldn't it be? We're the beneficiaries. While many white people aren't consciously racist, all white people benefit unknowingly from institutions that are predicated on racism.

So, as white people, we should use our power during these times only to amplify the needs and directives of black communities and people of color that would know firsthand what these issues are like (who don't need to read online articles  to realize the extent of Minneapolis's segregation). We should use our institutional privilege not to appoint ourselves as leaders of a fight that is, frankly, not ours. Don't be a performative ally - are you posting artistic Instagram stories, or are you protesting?

The vast majority of the protests my social circles have attended here have been peaceful, unlike the non-local news depicts. And for the white people I know who are awakening to the truth of segregated reality more now because there is property damage, I'm glad this issue has finally gotten your attention. These protests, and the minority of which have turned destructive, are symptoms of and reactions to larger policing issues that you will never have to personally know. Question the disease itself more than the symptoms.

Donations

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    • $25 
    • 3 mos
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  • Francie Gale 
    • $100 
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    • $1,000 (Offline)
    • 3 mos
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Organizer

Ezra Cohen 
Organizer
Minneapolis, MN
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