A STATEMENT ON THE MURDER OF GEORGE FLOYD AND SUBSEQUENT PROTESTS FROM THE BOARD OF COMMUNITY SHARES OF GREATER CINCINNATI
The events of the past week have reminded us all of the fragile line between peace and chaos that has been thinning for years in our country. We have watched residents of our city and others across the nation cry out, incensed at the senseless murder of George Floyd, an African-American man, at the hands of police who were enforcing the systemic racism that permeates nearly every single institution in our society.
We urge those in power in the communities we serve to listen to the voices of anguish around you. We implore you to examine the systems in our communities that perpetuate racism and actively work to dismantle those institutional conveyors of inequality and oppression: eliminate racial profiling in policing, reverse the militarization of our civilian police forces, cease harsher penalties for African-American defendants, end misuse of bail to keep poor people in jail, stop zero-tolerance school policies which feed a school-to-prison pipeline, repair inequities in health care access, remove discrimination in safe and affordable housing, equalize education opportunities, expand job opportunities, and repair environmental damage concentrated in minority neighborhoods, among other inequities.
As the greater Cincinnati area’s federation of social justice charities, we hold in utmost regard the lives of all marginalized individuals in our communities. We and our member charities work daily to empower and amplify those finding their voices in oppressed and discriminated populations: people of color, trans folx, women, immigrants, queer people, the poor, the addicted, the homeless, but as the past week has shown, the community at greatest risk with the most ingrained institutional prejudice held against them remains our African-American brothers and sisters. We must listen to them. Their stories matter. Their experiences matter. Their anguish matters. Their pain matters. Their fear matters. Their abuse matters. Their deaths matter. Their lives matter. Our solidarity matters, but actions to foster equity and justice matter more.
Community Shares of Greater Cincinnati Board President Suzanne Bertuleit adds: “Community shares exists to serve our whole community and to especially advocate for organizations who are often disenfranchised that include race relations, environment, animal rights, LGBTQA rights, women and all people. We are saddened by the force taken against our citizens throughout the course of their lives and during peaceful protests. We believe in first amendment rights and that all voices are heard. Black lives matter.”