At Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF), we have been aligning all we do to creating a community where racial equity may finally have the chance to become a reality. One where freedom and justice is not a right that only white people enjoy. This week, I hang my head in pain and despair for the failures of our nation – and yes – our community.
The weight of systemic racism is in full view. There is no room for questioning that any longer. But we do have other questions. Can we come together and say “enough”? Can we create the proximity to each other that is critical to bridging our differences? Can we share power, voice and resources with those who need and deserve it - without fearing what we may lose? Can we admit now that we actually have nothing to lose, and everything to gain?
Today, I ask that you join us in solidarity. We cannot stand by and watch a pandemic ravage the lives of people of color. We cannot stare into the cold, unaffected eyes of a white police officer driving 200 lbs. of weight through his knee into the throat of a black man, assuring his death. We cannot do any of this anymore.
We know there is a swelling appetite in our community to see change. We know because, after educating more than 600 people in our community last year about the roots and persistence of racial disparity through Racial Equity Matters, we have another 1,000 people signed up to join this movement this week.
Our lives hang in the balance. The decisions we make as individuals and institutions right now will determine our fate as a community. Please join us in any way you can. Perhaps you want to contribute to organizations that are making a difference in the quest for racial equity and social justice. Perhaps you’d like to read a book, listen to a podcast or watch an enlightening video. We offer you some options here. We are not powerless in the face of this crisis. Not at all.
In pain, anger and yet still with an abundance of hope for our future, we are doubling down at GCF in the quest for equity for all – especially for our African American brothers and sisters who live with trauma that is simply unacceptable. We see you, we hear you, we are you. We must rise together. If you are interested in exploring a path for yourself, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Enough is enough, and now is the time.
Ellen M. Katz