Our Collective Responsibility

Our Collective Responsibility

We at CFLeads are processing the pain, grief, numbness and anger we are feeling from the heartbreaking and senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and from the many others in Black and Brown communities who have lost their lives as the result of the systemic racism that permeates this country and its institutions.

As an organization and a network of community foundations, we continually strive to live our values of equity, inclusion and representation. We are deeply committed to ​listening to and lifting up the voices of​ people who have not been heard to ensure that justice and fairness are felt by everyone. We are also committed to supporting community foundations in their community leadership journeys and providing them with the tools they need to help build a society where race is not destiny.

As our friend Flozell Daniels Jr., President & CEO of the Foundation for Louisiana, said on a recent Community Connection in Times of Crisis webinar:

Equity is your answer, no matter the question.
Flozell Daniels Jr.President & CEO, Foundation for Louisiana

We agree. We have a collective responsibility to commit to equity and to re-imagine our practices and policies to ensure that people of color are able to fully participate and prosper.

At this time, we call on community foundations to join their peers at the Minneapolis Foundationthe Saint Paul and Minnesota Foundation and many others as they stand with their community and advocate for change. We commend our peers, listed below, who have used their voice to speak out about the deep injustices facing this country. And we acknowledge the emotional and mental strain that community foundation staff, especially our Black colleagues and peers, are facing during this time.

This work is difficult enough without a pandemic. Still, even in the midst of a global public health crisis and economic devastation, we see community foundations across the country standing up to ensure their communities are places where all people can thrive. While they don’t have all the answers, many community foundation leaders have begun acknowledging the important role they can play, alongside others, in the recovery and rebuilding of our communities. 

We’ve pulled some of the messages community foundation leaders have shared into a blog post, where they highlight the value of celebrating the common good, the necessity of bringing everything they have to the table, and their vision for building a better, more equitable future. We are also collecting messages from community foundation leaders across the country who have spoken up about police brutality and anti-Black racism, listed below. We hope these words from your peers provide you with inspiration and a sense of solidarity as you help chart a path forward with your community. 

Did we miss you? Please email Melody MacLean at mmaclean@cfleads.org with a link to your statement.