As an organization dedicated to providing a platform for young artists to not only discover their voice but to also amplify their message, we find it necessary to speak up for those whose voices are often hushed for the sake of convenience. Black men and women are dying at an alarming rate at the hands of law enforcement. According to a Washington Post study Black people are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by a police officer. This is not a feeling or an irrational fear, and this certainly is not new. Listen to black mothers, fathers, grandparents and you’ll hear a common motif that has existed years before the Black Lives Matter movement: fear driven by constant threat of death. Everyday.

Today, turn on your TV. Scroll through your timeline on Facebook. Read through your friends’ tweets. Everyday, there seems to be a new hashtag- what has become our digital tombstone-of -sorts. Here rests a man #PhilandoCastile, woman #SandraBland, child #TamirRice whose name is worthy of remembrance. Here rests another life, gone far too soon.

To say that Black Lives Matter, to circulate these hashtags, to memorialize their names, is not at all a slight to the lives of any other group of people. It is, rather, a reminder that Black Lives should matter too, but have not and continually do not seem to matter.

We at Kuumunity Collaborations acknowledge that this country has, since its inception, found more value in the labor and product of brown bodies than in the personhood and humanity of said bodies. We understand that to shed a light on the plight of a traumatized people, to use platforms to raise awareness and create solidarity, and to bring voices together and declare the right to live and breathe, and pursue happiness is one of the greatest works of love and community anyone can lend themselves to.

We at Kuumunity Collaborations choose to lend our voices to the movement and declare that Black Lives do indeed, matter.