Dear Greater Capital Region Community Member:
We are heartbroken by the recent events in Minneapolis, Louisville, Tallahassee, and Brunswick, GA that unjustly took the lives of African American and Black citizens. We send our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones as well as all those who continue to live in fear and trauma from the racism and violence that still exists today. No human being should tolerate discrimination or live in constant fear for themselves and for their children. Black Lives do Matter now and forever.
We condemn all acts of racism, injustice, and exclusion and acknowledge that these types of incidences and the unjust, systemic racism that has allowed them, still exists today. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery are only a few of the countless Black lives whose breath has been taken from them. Before these tragedies, as our nation was built, the policies and decisions for everything from highway placements, to mortgage and business lending, to formulas for public school funding have elements of unjust bias and racism. For Black Americans, these decisions have not fulfilled our country’s promise of justice for all.
These most recent and vivid examples of racial oppression have happened in the context of disproportional sickness, death and economic loss for the Black community brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. All of this should cause us to pause and consider the pain and suffering of our friends and neighbors in the context of the American dream and our nation’s history.
The Community Foundation is a community builder for ALL people and pledges to strengthen our WHOLE community through philanthropy. This includes advocating for, promoting, funding, and supporting equitable policies and practices that ensure justice, safety, and access to opportunities for everyone in our community. However, heartbroken we are today, simply saying so is not enough. We all need to do better than we have done in the past. We pledge to continue to check our own personal biases and use a racial equity lens in our grantmaking and every facet of our work with the community. We will continue to support our region’s diverse leaders and nonprofits, so there is full representation of our diverse communities. We promise to call for greater justice and will amplify the voices of those who have been silenced by heartily supporting every citizen’s First Amendment rights to nonviolent protest and express calls for justice amid the suffering of this time.
We believe we can heal our communities by standing together, listening, learning, and taking action to support our Black neighbors and anyone else who has suffered injustice. Together, we can ensure that empathy and equity is imbedded in all we do. It will require us to be bold and relentless, as well as patient and compassionate. We ask you for your help and support as we continue forward. Our communities deserve nothing less than our full hearts and our full commitment.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King Jr.