Friends & Partners:
We are a nation built on simple, yet powerful, beliefs. Chief among those beliefs are that all people are created equally and have the fundamental right to liberty, free speech, freedom of religion, due process, and freedom of assembly. For generations people of color, women, religious minorities, immigrants, and the LGBTQ community have fought for inclusion in these American ideals. And, for generations, we have failed to equally protect our brothers and sisters under the law or extend equitable opportunities in education, the workforce, or civil society. This must end today.
The tragic death of George Floyd is a story that continues to play out across our nation. Since Freddie Gray’s death in 2014, dozens of black Americans have died at the hands of police officers. In fact, black Americans are more than twice as likely to be killed by a police officer than white Americans. These deaths give way to protests. The protests give way to criticism of systems. Handwringing ensues. Rinse and repeat. The unrest we’re seeing in Dallas and in cities across America is the result of centuries – literally centuries – of systemic racism aimed at people of color and black Americans in particular. This must end today.
However, amidst the anger, fear, and desperation lives Hope. We are a nation that gets it right more often than not. We valiantly struggle to become a more perfect union. We can accomplish anything – literally anything – we collectively prioritize. And, Dallas! We are generous. We are bold. We are innovative. We built a world class city. We must now build an equitable one. That’s our collective work; individuals and institutions with power and influence must lead the charge.
The Dallas Foundation stands with our black colleagues, civic leaders, community partners, and supporters – eager to listen, to learn and to help create an opportunity rich community.
The Dallas Foundation does this by investing in high quality early learning to level the playing field for kids of color. Our grantmaking prioritizes equity to ensure resources are distributed fairly and reach communities of color and institutions led by people of color. We are taking immediate steps to provide our staff with information and tools to identify and address racial inequity and we promise to better engage our donors in these critical conversations.
Our voice and influence in the community always has – and always will – demand justice, equity, and inclusion. As Martin Luther King, Jr. noted: “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”
We will not be silent, and we hope you won’t be either.