Commentary

For far too long

We humbly stand alongside Rhode Island’s Black community to call for and commit to equity and inclusion.

Dear Rhode Island community members,

We find ourselves in an incredibly challenging time, but the rage and civil unrest that we are witnessing across the country and at our own doorstep, following the senseless killing of George Floyd, is not new. Ingrained, systemic racism and the impact of that on the Black community in our country is pervasive and unacceptable.

We recognize that the calls of the Black community have gone unheard for far, far too long. Centuries too long. The fight for full humanity for Black community members is imperative.

As Rhode Island’s community foundation we have eight core organizational values. Those values guide us as we work to meet the needs of all Rhode Islanders. And, as we write to you today, one of those values stands out as a guiding light: We are committed to addressing the underlying causes of inequity and eliminating disparities.

With that, we humbly stand alongside Rhode Island’s Black community to call for and commit to equity and inclusion. We will work together with our staff and members of the community to listen and hear, to be a support system, to confront – and help to dismantle – systemic racism, to foster inclusion, and to continue to deploy resources using an equity lens.

Progressing toward a better future is not simple, or easy – but we must move forward.

Neil D. Steinberg
President & CEO