Statement on Race and Equality
In every aspect of our work, we strive to be a responsible and reliable partner to the communities we serve. When communities are thriving and flourishing, we celebrate with them. When the communities we serve are hurting and grieving, it is our responsibility and duty to stand with them, listen to them, and support efforts to heal current and past injustices. Part of healing is reckoning with what has caused the hurt, and, in the communities we serve, much of that pain has been caused by racism.
Slavery. Jim Crow laws. Whites-only signs. Restrictive covenants. Police brutality. Unequal justice. Over the years, the way the pain is inflicted has taken different forms, but the root of that pain has remained constant. If we are ever going to live up to and into the idea of community, we must recognize and repudiate racism and its legacy of poverty and lack of opportunity for too many of our Black neighbors. The perpetual pain Black Mississippians continue to endure is saddening and shameful. And it is why we can neither be silent nor still at this moment.
We believe the future for each of us is only as bright as it is for Black Mississippians. We are committed to having necessary and difficult conversations about equity and justice and long-term solutions to improve social, educational, health, and economic outcomes for Black Mississippians. We are committed to listening to and lifting up the voices of Black people in the communities, nonprofits, and organizations we support. We are committed to investing in communities that have been under-resourced and supporting Black-led initiatives, nonprofits, and organizations that have been underfunded.
Communities depend on diversity to thrive–and to heal. We recognize communities are most powerful when every individual feels welcome, every idea is respected, and every opportunity is accessible to every member of the community. We embrace the difficult conversations and challenging questions that move our communities forward. We invite people from different walks of life to build community together, seeking to learn from and rely on one another along the way.
We are For Mississippi, For Good. Forever.