Over the past several weeks, we’ve witnessed a series of horrifying events in the U.S. that once again call attention to the cumulative burden of centuries of racial inequity in our society. The widespread protests have been sparked not just by the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, but the death of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, the death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, the attack on Christian Cooper in Central Park, the disparate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout on communities of color, and much more.
The indisputable fact is that bias and systemic oppression of marginalized communities are deeply intertwined with many aspects of our culture and society. This is intolerable. We reject racism in any form.
I believe it is critical for the future of our country that we collectively and proactively engage in the difficult conversations to define equity and take action to create a more equitable system.
When I was younger, I asked James A. Joseph, a civil rights leader, where the best place was to fight injustice. He responded simply: “Where you are.” At Wallace, we will intensify our commitment to infusing diversity, equity, access and inclusion into the work we do internally and externally in the arts, K-12 leadership, summer learning, social and emotional learning, and afterschool – including in the design of new initiatives now under way.
We appreciate that we are part of a community of grantees, partners, educators, artists and others who are committed to making a real difference. My hope is that, together, we can help, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “bend the arc of history toward justice.”
Will Miller, President