Dear CZI partners and friends,
The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and too many Black Americans before them, have made plain once again the systemic racism that is the defining faultline of our country. So do the pandemic and economic crisis, both of which continue to disproportionately harm the Black community.
Much of our work at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is grounded in what kind of future we’re building for the next generation — and as a Mom and pediatrician that is often the lens I look through too. One of the toughest parts of the past 11 days for me has been hearing from Black members of our team who are terrified for their children.
Black families are literally fighting for their lives. Parents and children are crying out, “I can’t breathe,” and we cannot — we must not — turn away.
I stand with my Black colleagues. I stand in solidarity with the Black community and all those risking their own health and safety in the fight for justice, equity, and inclusion. And I stand with our Black grantees and partners. Black Lives Matter.
But without action, words don’t mean much.
We — me, Mark, and our whole organization — are ready to do the hard work beside you. We need to name and better address how racial injustice perpetuates disparities and inequities across this country — and across all of the areas in which we work at CZI.
We need to examine the drivers that systematically exclude Black lives. We need to support more work that intentionally includes Black communities. We need to ensure that we are doing more to support Black leaders — both inside our own organization and those, like many of you, who are working tirelessly outside of our organization to advance justice — in our courts, our schools, our housing systems, and beyond. We need to better support and listen more to our Black colleagues and Black partners. There is no other way to build a better future for everyone.
I stand in solidarity with the Black community and all those risking their own health and safety in the fight for justice, equity, and inclusion.
At this profoundly challenging and painful moment in our nation’s story, please know: we are here for you, however you need us to be. And to those for whom fighting racial injustice has always been your call, we see you, we hear you and we stand ready to listen and learn from your example.
Please take care of yourselves and each other.
With care and love,