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June 19, 2020

Black Lives Matter

Black lives matter.

Black lives matter to us.

The recent, senseless killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and many more before them, at the hands of police have become a moment of reckoning for the entire world. The knee on George Floyd’s neck that led to his brutal murder is an illustration of structural racism that is persistent and pervasive in every aspect of Black life in America.

The utter devastation Black communities have faced for centuries arose from historic, systematic injustices often perpetrated in an attempt to maintain the status quo of white supremacy.

Many in our country and around the world are finally waking up and taking action against the violent racism and historical wrongs found at the root of our systems. We have let this go on for too long.

Even for an organization named “Humanity United”—which is committed to human rights, dignity, peace, and freedom for people around the world—these events have caused us to reflect on our own privilege and grapple with areas where we have failed.

After a few weeks of reflection, we are committed to taking action in this fight, starting with the following:

  • We are educating ourselves about systemic racism in the United States, white privilege and white fragility, and how we can be purposefully anti-racist. Our staff are engaging in trainings, including on themes such as allyship, management with an equity lens, and structural racism.
  • We will continue the work we began more than a year ago on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ), currently guided by Justice Funders. This includes developing fluency on using DEIJ as a lens in supporting and engaging with grantees and partners, as well as our staff. As this work evolves, we are committed to publicly sharing our work plan and progress.
  • We are honoring Juneteenth, making it a paid company holiday for all employees today—a time to learn, reflect, and heal.

Additionally, we will be supporting organizations working directly on racial equity and justice. Because these areas are new to HU, we want to be mindful that we are contributing in a constructive way. We are actively working to build new relationships with the goal of following the lead of those best positioned to inform our approach. We will be announcing these commitments soon.

These are just a few of the steps we’ll be taking over the course of the following months and years, but we recognize it’s important we begin to take steps to be part of the solution.

To the Black community: we will hold ourselves accountable to work towards racial justice and equality. Black lives matter. We see you, we hear you, and we stand with you in solidarity on this long journey toward justice and freedom.

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