The events of the past weeks have been incredibly painful to witness. While in the midst of a global health crisis, the disease of racism reared its ugly head to create a crisis within a crisis in which unarmed Black men and women are being threatened or killed.
George Floyd. Christian Cooper. Ahmad Arbery. Breonna Taylor.
We vehemently condemn the injustices that were exacted on these individuals, and so many others who came before them.
Witnessing the peaceful protests over the past several days, we feel this is an appropriate reaction. As I reflected in a blog last year, the conditions we face today are no different than the previous civil rights movement of 1968 when citizens had had enough and took to the streets in outrage and anguish.
As Kareem Abdul-Jabbar stated in a recent op-ed, Black protestors are “people pushed to the edge” by 400 years of racial injustice that barely seem to get better.
Many of you are asking the same questions we are: What can we do now?
We would like to offer a few recommendations that you can explore when ready:
First, if you are not Black, please just listen and be an ally. These events are traumatic for your friends, family, and colleagues. Just knowing you are there for them, when they are ready to speak, is enough.
If you have the means, consider donating to a social justice organization or helping to fund those securing bail for unlawfully imprisoned protestors.
Educate yourself on how to be anti-racist.
Assist your community by encouraging your friends and neighbors to fill out their census and engaging with your local and state leaders to demand policy reform and mobilize more resources to deal with the aftermath of these experiences.
Lastly, use your voice. Mobilize everyone to vote. The only way to eliminate today’s issues is to create the change we are looking for by removing those from office who perpetuate old systems of oppression.
For those of us at Capital Impact, these incidents serve as a reminder of why racial justice is so central to our mission. As a mission-driven organization focused on building equity and power for our communities, these moments reaffirm our resolve and commitment to stand against racism in all its forms, and work with our neighbors to create a reality in which everyone can thrive.
As the quest for justice continues, we continue our journey toward becoming an anti-racist multicultural organization and embodying that way of being in every community that we serve.
We have already begun the journey, creating an Equity Statement that governs the ways in which we work and work with communities to help create the world we want to see.
As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, we intend to use our voices, as well as the power of our actions, to help prevent this from happening in the future.
President & CEO
Capital Impact Partners