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“Our hearts are broken this morning; we share the grief and outrage of the family and community of Philando Castile, who have lost a dearly beloved son, father, colleague, and friend. His death was shocking, tragic and deeply offends our sense of justice and morality.

This senseless shooting of our fellow Minnesotan is another loud call to action that we must hear.  All of us, in our neighborhoods and across our state and through our government, must do much more to work together to stop violence against people of color and the systemic racism that underpins it. This work goes hand-in-hand with our fight for racial equity all across our country, including in the criminal justice system but also in other aspects of our lives --  voter rights, education, health care, and economic opportunity.  This is a broad fight for human rights.

Our world is not just, and will never be so until no one fears for their safety because of their skin color. We will never forget Philando Castile—or Alton Sterling, Jamar Clark, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, or any of the many people who have lost their lives.  We are all traumatized by what is happening, and we will unflinchingly examine the entrenched racism in our culture, in ourselves, and in our civil institutions.  We will honor their memories not by moments of silence, but rather by working until we persevere in overcoming racism and creating the world that we want for all of our children.”

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For more than 85 years, Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota has worked in our region to make sure all people have the information and the means to make free and responsible decisions about whether and when to have children. Planned Parenthood operates 19 clinics in Minnesota and South Dakota and an Online Health Center, providing quality and affordable family planning, reproductive health care services and education to more than 65,000 women and men each year.

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