Statement on racial equity


All of us at the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation are grieving with the friends, family, and communities of victims of police brutality and systemic injustice. George Floyd, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor are just a few of the children, parents, and loved ones who have been taken unjustly, brutally, and as the result of broken systems. We stand in solidarity with the families and communities that have been and continue to be harmed by systemic racism, and with those working alongside them in pursuit of justice.

Systemic racism is insidious—a complex, structural, and deeply-rooted affliction woven into the fabric of America, from our justice system to our schools to our economy to our environmental policies, working in various and often reinforcing ways to perpetuate inequity. These systems will not change until we acknowledge them and begin the complicated and difficult work of unwinding them.

Specifically, we recognize that wealth—and the power, protection, and access that comes with it—has played a powerful role in maintaining oppressive systems. Now, we have the opportunity and the responsibility to leverage our assets and privilege to accelerate change and begin to dismantle institutionalized racism. We can disrupt systemic injustice—sharing and redirecting power and promoting collective well-being and social equity to individuals and groups who have historically been oppressed and excluded by white power and privilege. 

The time to act is now; below are a few of the short-term actions we are taking within our organization and our community.

  • Providing racial equity training and educational resources for our board, family, staff, and partners
  • Engaging more diverse voices at every level of our decision-making process
  • Following and promoting a collective impact approach to philanthropy to drive positive outcomes at the nexus of environmental protection, social equity, and economic vibrancy
  • Continuing our practice of studying communities and philanthropic approaches that have made progress in dismantling systemic racism, and incorporating those practices into our work
  • Providing a safe and reliable way for individuals impacted by systemic racism to provide us with the critical feedback that can shape our work

Redesigning and rewiring our structures and systems will require persistent effort and an unwavering commitment to racial equity. It is possible to move forward with a marathoner’s strategy and a sprinter’s sense of urgency. The time for real, viable change is now.


 

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