Fred Ali, President & C.E.O., and Joanna Jackson, Vice President, Programs:
Silence is Betrayal
George Floyd. Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor.
Across the nation, Black, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, and white community members are saying their names—with grief, pain, and outrage. We are struggling with feelings of anger, disappointment, and often hopelessness.
This is no time for philanthropy to be silent.
White supremacy is destroying our country. Anti-Black racism is killing people. The recent murders are not isolated racist incidents, but part of a system that has for too long marginalized and oppressed, beginning with the genocide of Native Americans, continuing through slavery, and on to mass incarceration. The executions of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others come on top of the public health and economic crises that are disproportionately ravaging communities of color. The actions of too many of those in power reinforce the message that the lives of people of color and poor people truly do not matter to them.
Over the past week, thousands of people marched peacefully to protest a system that enacts daily violence against communities. The Weingart Foundation stands with the youth, families, and community members who are raising their voices and putting their own bodies on the line to demand justice. Our role begins with understanding that we are truly privileged to be in a position to support change. What philanthropy does with that privilege is the challenge before us. It is important that we act with humility and center the voices of communities of color—including youth—in everything we do.
We can use our position and influence to work for the adoption of anti-racist policies and practices. And most importantly, we can provide our community partners with the resources they need to organize and advocate. Let’s not miss this opportunity to do the work that needs to be done.