We must Speak Up On the Passing of Ahmaud Arbery

Jessica Loya, Director of Policy & Programs, jessicaloya@greenlatinos.org

GreenLatinos Familia,


We are compelled to speak out on the death of Ahmaud Arbery.

Ahmaud Arbery loved jogging for both physical health and mental clarity.  The 25-year old was gunned down by father and son duo Gregory and Travis McMichael on February 23rd in Brunswick, GA.  The pair claimed they believed the jogger was a burglar.  A leaked video showing the pursuit and shooting has resulted in the arrest of the father and son by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.  They have since been charged with murder and aggravated assault.


Exercising, jogging, walking, or just enjoying the outdoors “while Black” or “while brown” should not be a death sentence. GreenLatinos recognizes that many African Americans and Latinos, men in particular, avoid exercising outdoors because of fears that others will misunderstand their presence in neighborhoods and infer their running to be related to criminal behavior.  These fears have also been referenced as a barrier to visiting our public lands.


GreenLatinos joins the call for justice not just in allegiance to our African American colleagues, but in recognition and support of our AfroLatino members.  GreenLatinos recognizes that the Latino community includes members of the African diaspora that often experience discrimination based on overlapping issues across color, race, ethnicity, and national origins that span across the Caribbean, and North, Central, and South America.  We also acknowledge that colorism is an issue of separation and discrimination in Latino cultures throughout the Americas.


GreenLatinos joins the call for justice on the death of Ahmaud Arbery.  We also call on the State of Georgia to pass comprehensive hate crimes legislation that will enhance criminal charges in future cases, and call on the Department of Justice to file federal criminal charges on the case.  We also call on administrators of public lands, including local parks, to recognize the fear of discrimination as a barrier for engagement in the great outdoors.


We endorse the call to jog 2.23 miles in the outdoors as an act of resistance to race-based murders and we loudly say his name: Ahmaud Arbery.


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GreenLatinos is a national network of Latino environmental and conservation advocates committed to addressing national, regional and local environmental, natural resources and conservation issues that significantly affect the health and welfare of the Latino community in the United States. GreenLatinos provides an inclusive table at which its members establish collaborative partnerships and networks to improve the environment; protect and promote conservation of land and other natural resources; amplify the voices of minority, low-income and tribal communities; and train, mentor, and promote the current and future generations of Latino environmentalists.