As another week comes to a close since the tragic killing of George Floyd, our communities and our nation are still in a world of hurt, anger and maddening frustration over the scourge of hate and systemic racism that continues to threaten the safety, well-being and rights of African-Americans and people of color in our nation.
As many leaders and individuals speak out, march and call for action and change, we are hopeful that this may be the start of an awakening in America. But we also know we’ve been here before and too often the commitment to bring about real change in our communities isn’t sustained. And we can’t ignore the divisive, threatening and ugly words and tactics of some leaders who seem to reject any suggestion that we as a nation can and should work to better protect and ensure the rights of all our neighbors.
As we write this, as two white, privileged people, we know we must commit to continue to learn, listen and do more. We started the Case Foundation more than 20 years ago to invest in people and ideas that change the world, particularly those that sought to bring hope and opportunity to those in the greatest need. Recent events remind us that we still have a very long way to go.
Real change will only come when each one of us in our lives, in our organizations, and in our communities confronts the harsh realities of American life and asks what we can do to make a real and lasting impact. We have been impressed with the way that so many organizations and people have stood up for what is right and called for all of us to reexamine our roles, our biases and our blind spots. It is clear that we all have a role to play. And it is incumbent on those of us with privileges, platforms, influence or power, to amplify the voices of those that have been drowned out and to maintain a strong drumbeat toward meaningful and sustained progress and action. We are exploring the best ways to activate our platforms and will continue to lift up those working on the front lines and bringing action to communities everywhere. We vow to continue to do this, while also working in partnership with other organizations to ensure we make the greatest impact possible.
Nations rise and fall not on the strength or weakness of their leaders, but rather on the heartfelt commitment and actions of its people. Let us agree together to do the hard work of examining what each one of us can do to make a difference, and then hold ourselves and each other accountable.