A message from our CEO
I want to acknowledge there is so much going on. These are indeed some difficult times. Racial tensions nationally, a global pandemic, riots, and political unrest – all at once.
I am feeling both disheartened and quietly reserved. I have spoken with a number of you and my conversations give me courage and hope. Your unflagging positive attitude in the face of so much upheaval gives me faith. Though we may tire at times and need to rest, we must not stop pursuing equality and justice!
What happened to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others is not to be tolerated! This is yet another chapter in the ongoing brutality against African Americans and I see this as a call to action for all of us.
The year I was born, 1968, had similar touchpoints as today - politics, economics and race. In 1968, the mayor of Chicago, Richard J. Daley, decried the protests at the Democratic National Convention and pushed aggressive policing that turned into a national flashpoint.
The assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. that same year led to an outpouring of anger among black Americans, as well as a period of national mourning that helped speed the way for an equal housing bill that would be the last significant legislative achievement of the civil rights era.
It felt like progress when Barack Obama was elected president in 2008 and Lori Lightfoot was elected as Chicago mayor. The first African American woman and first openly gay person to hold the office.
However, we still have so much to do to address racial inequity in our society. The injustices perpetrated on African Americans must stop.
I understand that silence on this topic equates to approval. I will not be silent. I encourage you all to use your voice, eyes, ears and hearts. This is not the time to stand on the sidelines.
This is the time to stand with our black and brown friends, families, co-workers, clients and our communities.
I am making it clear. Racism and social injustice are not acceptable and will not be tolerated. We do support the protesters, the reasons they are protesting and the right to protest. We stand against police brutality and any system that is unjust.
Black Lives Matter. I’m working to educate myself, to be the best ally I can. I encourage everyone to do the same. This month is the celebration of Juneteenth. Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States and has actually been an African American tradition since the late 19th century. Start your education by learning about this celebration.
I’ve asked the Community Spurvice team to identify a local organization that we can support through volunteering, pro bono work and financial support. Just like we did for Big Table. Spur has a history of standing up and participating. So please join me now in standing up to racism and injustice.
It’s time to make progress.