As the preferred location for many recent marches and protests, Downtown Shreveport once again becomes the place where people feel comfortable sharing their fears, concerns and hopes for the future. The need for safety and inclusion is profoundly important. Downtown Shreveport only succeeds if persons of all color and ethnicity, age, gender identification, religion and political persuasion participate in all that we have to offer.
The Black Lives Matter movement has pushed some very serious, historic concerns to the public forefront, and we believe continued peaceful discussion and change is needed so that all may be empowered as they seek healthy, safe and successful lives. Issues of race, criminal justice and economic inclusion are vitally important, and we should not lose sight of what brought us to this point.
We will continue our work to support all who wish to make downtown more vibrant, more livable, and more welcoming. Our long-time slogan as the place to Live, Work and Play are nothing but words if downtown’s goals are not those of our greater community and the people who call it their home.
Let us be unequivocal. Racism —in any of its iterations— has no place downtown. We believe that Black Lives Matter. We stand in solidarity with those who advocate for racial justice. We also know that this is a process that will require listening longer and harder, engaging in active understanding and then working toward tangible goals.
We encourage those who work or reside downtown, those who own property and businesses, those who put on events and festivals or simply wish to one day be a part of the downtown experience, to join in this important process. It is one that will make our community, our city, and our downtown, a better and more inclusive home for all.