Dear Esteemed Members of our community.
We, the nation’s arts, education, and nonprofit institutions condemn the racism in our police and prison industrial complex. Because we’re the good institutions, we’re also thankful to be invited into the conversation about race. However, it has come to our attention that we are responsible for perpetuating white supremacy too, and we want you to know that we hear you and we’re listening. This is really good information for us to finally have.
1. The first thing we must do is say racism is bad.
It’s 2020 and it’s about time somebody said it. But we aren’t just saying things. We are also listening.
2. We promise to pay Black employees in legal currency.
Okay, so here’s the thing. We thought experience and free classes would be really good for our Black team members. But, we read their comments on our Instagram before we deleted them, and now we know they want to be paid in money. We see you and we hear you.
3. Hire more Black people.
We’re really into this idea! Where are they? Our Black employees quit because we didn’t pay them. We needed Black folks for a marketing photo, like, yesterday. Do you know where to find them? Preferably Black women; we’re intersectional too. Can you have them send us a resume? (You can mention we’ll pay them now.)
4. We’re going to have diversity training again.
We know we just did this last month but, the Mikes, our collective group of White CFO’s, couldn’t make it. Their calendars were just kind of a mess with end of quarter stuff. They’ve all seen the Chapelle special though, so they get it.
5. Divesting our endowments from corporations that utilize prison labor.
Probably a good idea. Our endowments are mostly tied up in defense contractors and big pharma anyways. At least it’s not reparations. Reiterating here that we think racism is bad.
6. Oh shoot. Reparations was number six.
We hear you. We, the institutions of this country, were built with slave labor, therefore using our endowments to pay reparations is a way to begin to reconcile this history. We are listening, and we are resolved to form a subcommittee to draft a project plan to conduct a feasibility study from which we will then set actionable, measurable goals towards achieving this. This can definitely start in the next six to thirty months.
Please bear with us as we solve systemic inequality. Together we are all accountable. We hope to be wrapped with this before our fundraising season, because if we don’t shore up our endowments before the end of the fiscal year, that’ll be the real injustice. Stay safe! Wear a mask!