Staff members at the Alaska Black Caucus discovered racial slurs spray painted on their building in Downtown Anchorage, local news station KTUU reports.
The alleged act of vandalism took place at what is known as the Equity Center which was purchased in 2021 to “serve Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Alaskans in Anchorage through a commercial kitchen, gathering space, below-market-rate office spaces, co-working, partner leased space, and associated programming.”
The Equity Center will officially open in 2024.
Despite the racial intent of the incident, the organization stated that it has no plans of relocating from the area and said it will remain on the front lines to defend the constitutional rights of Black people who make up 3.7 percent of the population in Alaska.
“This is not a message to our young people today. This is not a message to the world today. This is not a message to anybody, regardless of your race, your faith, or what you subscribe to in making it a better world,” Rev. Patricia Wilson-Cone said in a statement. “This is not a positive light and a positive message and we have zero tolerance for it.”
The latest incident is not the first time the ABC has been targeted, members said. Past incidents included graffiti on the sidewalk outside the offices.
“I’m from the South ... you’re bringing back some of your past experiences,” Brenda Tyler, a member of the caucus said.
Established in 1975, the non-profit seeks to “advance the educational, cultural, political, and economic well-being of African-Americans in Alaska”.
Currently, the Anchorage Police Department is investigating the incident.
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