Walking, Moving and Jogging Should Never Cost a Life – America Walks Statement on Ahmaud Arbery

The Ahmaud Arbery killing is a tragic reminder that for many it’s not just automobiles that make streets unsafe. As walkable community leaders and advocates we must acknowledge the traumatic ways that black, indigenous, and/or people of color are experiencing the public right of way and make sure our voices and recommendations acknowledge the structural racism that undermines safety.

Everyone should be able to walk and move in the public realm without fear of harm. This is a right enjoyed by many white Americans, but is denied to most people of color.

At a time when access to public space has arguably never been more in demand or important, we must prioritize communities with the greatest need, be culturally specific with our outreach and advocacy, and recognize that it will take more than access to public space to address the consequences of racism.

We stand with our justice reform advocacy colleagues in this fight, with victims like Ahmaud Arbery, and remain accountable for ensuring that we reflect solidarity and action for dismantling systemic racism in our work.