Statement on the Killing of Walter Wallace Jr.

From Ira Harkavy, Founding Director, Netter Center for Community Partnerships, its Staff and Community Advisory Board

Friday, October 30, 2020

The senseless killing of West Philadelphia resident Walter Wallace Jr. in West Philadelphia by police strikes home. We offer our heartfelt condolences to Mr. Wallace’s family. This is our community. Some of us were born and raised here, others live and/or work here. All of us are dedicated to working with others to eradicate racism, injustice, generational poverty, the stigma of mental illness, and educational inequity across the City, particularly in our neighborhood. But we know much more needs to be done. The series of horrific murders of Black Americans, the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on Black people, and the ongoing, vicious, debilitating impacts of racism are graphic indicators that for many in this society Black Lives do not yet Matter. The Netter Center and its Community Advisory Board are united in our resolve to significantly contribute to the deep institutional and systemic changes, including ending the culture of police brutality, that are required to create an inclusive, equitable, and just society for all—starting in West Philadelphia. We are committed to having the Netter Center function as a genuinely democratic, anti-racist, anti-violence, justice- and equity-seeking organization that works with campus and community partners to help create the conditions that will assure that Black Lives finally Matter.