Both black and white people protesting Downtown on the death of George Floyd. Everyone is wearing masks because of the pandemic and people are carrying "Black Lives Matter" signs. The police are in the background. Photo by Joshua Franzos

Standing Our Ground for Justice

It has been said before, but it has to be said again: Enough is enough.

In our immediate national crisis: Enough of the senseless killings of black men and women. Enough of calls going unheeded for police reforms that could actually prevent needless injury and death. Enough of the unwillingness to learn and understand why black lives must matter.

For the future direction of our country: Enough of the systemic racism that permeates structures intended to protect us all.  Enough of decades of failing policies and disinvestment in communities where black and brown people live. Enough of looking the other way because we may not be directly affected.  

At the same time, there can never be enough. There can never be enough people speaking out for equity and justice. There can never be enough education and awareness of the more than 400-year legacy of white supremacy and racism in this country. And there can never be enough commitment to changing the systems and institutions that perpetuate discrimination, inequality and harm on multiple levels.

The refusal to succumb to complacency – or even adequacy – is the ground on which The Heinz Endowments stands. 

We continue to call for justice for the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery and the many black and brown people our society has failed.  We continue to demand that all systems and institutions that devalue the lives of black men, women and children, and other people of people of color be transformed to uplift, support and protect us all. We continue to work toward a more just region, state and world.

At the Endowments, we are prioritizing our anti-racism efforts. We are addressing the root causes of racism, other biases and their many intersections while helping to develop policies and practices that counter systemic issues. We also are partnering with black and other local leaders to build vibrant, thriving communities that benefit people across the region.

And we are still learning, we are still striving, we are still trying to create change.

We invite all of you to do the same. 

The Heinz Endowments

(For more on these issues, see former Heinz Endowments President Grant Oliphant’s blog post, “One Life.”)