We have just witnessed in Minneapolis another in a seemingly endless series of grotesque, immoral examples of the bias, bigotry and racism that continue to afflict our society at virtually every level.
Despite ICIC’s mission and vision to help create a level playing field for small businesses in our most under-resourced and economically vulnerable neighborhoods and communities, we often feel powerless. We have severe doubts that we can successfully combat forces that are the legacy of 400 years of slavery, civil war, failed Reconstruction and racial terror that all too often results in the targeting of black men and women by law enforcement officials at every level of government.
The words carved on the front of the United States Supreme Court “Equal Justice Under Law” ring hollow in the face of the racial violence and inequities we witness with stunning frequency.
In the face of these horrific events and the pain we feel, we despair about how to bring our unique perspective and our best selves to offer relevant and impactful solutions to these seemingly intractable problems.
Yet all of us are part of the solution and we have an obligation to do more, to reject hatred, racism and bigotry in every form. We at ICIC will redouble our efforts to close the racial wealth gap in America by supporting deeply-committed individuals, small business owners, and community leaders who are driving inclusion and fundamental societal change, as we have since our organization was created following the 1992 L.A. Uprising. Our collective commitment to racial, economic and social justice are the foundational principles that can help us emerge from the darkness and sense of hopelessness we’re experiencing.
For so many reasons, this is the defining moment of our lives and we call on our nationwide constituency of thought and practice leaders as well as our 15,000 ICIC alumni to work with us to address these challenges together.
As each of you deals with this crisis as well as the pain and anxiety it’s causing, we hope you will reach out to ICIC as your ally, resource, advocate, and partner.
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