MACDC stands with those protesting the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless other African Americans in our Country.
We see these events as manifestations of centuries of white supremacy culture and institutionalized racism upon which this country was founded and which clearly persist to this day. We share the anger, frustration and sadness that these events provoke and the determination to help find a positive path forward.
We recognize that the structural racism, and the individual-level bias and bigotry, that we see in our criminal justice system is not unique. We see it in our public health and health care systems as the COVID-19 pandemic inflicts disproportionate harm on communities of color. We see it in our economic system as people of color once again bear a disproportionate share of the pain in our current economic crisis. We see it in our educational, housing, transportation and environmental systems. And, of course, all of this is directly connected to the inequities in our elections and political structures where voter suppression and unequal representation reinforce the status quo.
In recent years, MACDC has updated its mission statement to reflect a commitment to racial equity. We’ve adopted racial equity as an explicit organizational value and made it a priority in our strategic plan. We have mandated anti-racism training for our staff. We have held forums and launched programs to reverse inequities in our own organization and field. We have campaigned for policies that would reduce racial wealth and income inequality. Yet, all of this feels inadequate to the challenge. We ask ourselves - what more can we do? How do we need to change – individually and organizationally? What’s our role? We look for answers, or even steps toward possible answers. Can this moment and this pandemic be the impetus for something new?
The truth is that we don’t know.
What we do know is that all of us and each of us must commit to doing the hard work before us. So amidst our grief and anger, we take strength from being in community with all of you and in solidarity with the broader movement for justice sweeping our Country. And we will take heed of the words of our friend and teacher Mel King:
“Love is the question and the answer.”