Racism Stands Against Equitable Outcomes
We are deeply saddened by the recent tragic acts of violence on Black people across the country. We condemn the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor and stand in solidarity with those that do – especially our Black colleagues, their families, friends, and communities. These acts are part of a long history of racism, injustice, and violence faced by Black communities, which has been ignored in this country.
We want to send a simple and clear message: Racism is at odds with the pursuit and achievement of better outcomes for all communities. Racism poisons the relationships, institutions, and systems that govern and shape the world we live in.
In addition to standing in solidarity with the Black community, we continue to turn a critical eye on our existing goal of becoming an anti-racist organization. Despite the best intentions, we have fallen short as individuals (the White members of our team) and as an organization with limited progress on our goals to confront and dismantle the structures and systems that promote racism, for example:
- We remain a majority-White staffed and led organization; with less than 25% of our leadership identifying as people of color, and lower recruitment and retention rates for people of color. As a majority-White staff, we are unable to understand and empathize with the pain (and joy) of Black communities and other people of color. Therefore, we run the risk of causing additional harm to the communities we support by upholding policies and racist systems that don’t elevate communities of color.
- We have not clearly defined pathways or challenged government clients enough to meaningfully and sustainably elevate the voices of communities – particularly Black and other communities of color. We believe these communities have a right and the expertise to define the issues that impact their lives, as well as define solutions. We believe that government agencies serious about improving outcomes need to redistribute decision-making power with communities, and in particular, local people of color.
We must do better. We are committed to using our partnerships with government and philanthropy to elevate the goals and visions of community partners who are their own advocates and experts on how to achieve a future that is just, fair, and equitable for all.
We invite you to join us, and those across the country committed to justice and working for change.
The Third Sector Team