When you are an African American of a particular age, as am I, the only word that makes sense to describe the pain so many African Americans feel at this moment is “familiar.” The pain is so familiar because its cause is so relentless, invading our families, our hopes, and our dreams over generations. As Jemar Tisby said, “Racism never goes away, it just adapts.”
The uprisings across this country and around the world extend the legacies of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery and so many other people, expressing the collective hurt of racism, state-sanctioned violence, and economic want.
process this grief, it’s been important for me to remember and honor the history of those who faced terror and were lost. From victims like 14-year old Emmett Till who was lynched in Money, Mississippi, or the 300 residents of the Greenwood district of Tulsa, Oklahoma (“Black Wall Street”) who were killed in the Tulsa Race Riots 99 years ago simply for “Achieving While Black” (with another 10,000 residents left homeless), or the nine churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina who were murdered five years ago in the name of white supremacy.
While we continue to process and cope with the pain, we must also meet this foe in this moment. It is not enough to desire equity and sustainability in our recovery. Our actions and our leadership must be rooted in racial equity; anything else will be far too incremental, far
too hollow, and far too idle to meet this moment.
In partnership with my colleagues at Echoing Green, we are calling on all those who care about progress and positive social change, including funders, to implement five strategies as we move forward together. I hope you will share these ideas with your family, friends, and communities as we strive to build an inclusive and equitable future.
Meeting this moment: Five strategies for moving forward together →
It is up to each of us to decide now if we want to be part of
the problem or part of the solution for that better future.
Thinking of you in solidarity,