Fair Chance stands in solidarity with the Black community and all those fighting for a more equitable and just society.

 

The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, along with the incident in Central Park have brought to light the pain, trauma, and danger faced daily by Black people in our country. The image of the Minneapolis police officer with his knee on the back of George Floyd’s neck is horrifying. And this visual, along with all the images that have come before, have led us to a historical tipping point of righteous anger and deep pain built upon 400 years of white supremacy and anti-blackness.

As a white woman of privilege, I can never fully appreciate the daily anxiety and stress felt by my Black colleagues, friends, and neighbors. I stand with you in condemning and demanding justice for the long-history of terrorist acts against the Black community. I recognize how I have benefited from societal inequities based only on the color of my skin and been complicit in perpetuating racist systems. I commit to continue to educate myself and examine my own racial biases and blind spots.

At Fair Chance, we have decided our first action step is to listen. In response to the pandemic, Fair Chance staff have been reaching out to Executive Directors in our network to learn what they are experiencing and determine how we can best support their needs. What we are learning is that these leaders are under tremendous strain — having to be strong for their communities while pivoting services and doing more with less. As we have these conversations, we recognize that we cannot ignore how racism affects our leaders and communities. We are committed to creating a space for nonprofit directors to simply be with each other and to use our standing and position to advance racial equity.

Fair Chance believes community-based nonprofits have a critical role to play in addressing the long-standing injustices in our community. We will continue to keep you updated about our work in partnership with our network of nonprofit partners. We stand in solidarity.

In Service,
Gretchen Van der Veer, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Fair Chance