The COVID-19 pandemic is both a backdrop for and perhaps a catalyst of the civil unrest affecting communities across the country. The pandemic has disproportionately impacted people of color, exposing the inequities and racism permeating all of our systems – economic, health care, education and the list goes on. While some are celebrating the beginning stages of America’s reopening, those most at risk of police violence are leading demonstrations that aggression against the black community is an epidemic in its own right that demands attention and immediate action.
George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and hundreds of other Americans have been extrajudicially killed. We demand justice for these murders and for police violence against protestors in New Jersey and elsewhere.
We believe that Black Lives Matter, that the nationwide uprisings in support of basic human rights must be allowed to continue without repression, and that all nonprofit organizations have an obligation to be actively anti-racist in their internal and external policies and practices.
We commit to renewing our ongoing efforts to actively combat rampant racial inequalities faced by our clients, our staff, and members of our communities. We commit to supporting local initiatives to root out discrimination ranging from institutional racism to racial profiling in our Hunterdon neighborhoods.
We commit to not just listen to the stories of the people most affected, but to listen with an open heart and to listen non-comparatively. We know we will be uncomfortable with what we hear at times but we won’t stop listening.
We commit to doing better at upholding our missions as nonprofits by grounding our work in anti-racism and the experiences of the most marginalized among us.
Enough is enough: it’s time to take immediate action together to tackle racism and the systems that promote it.
Angela Fields, Executive Director, Family Promise of Hunterdon County
Galindo “Glenn” King, Executive Director, Freedom House
The Meta Theatre Company
Mark Valli, CEO, NORWESCAP
Bonnie Duncan, CEO, United Way of Hunterdon County