June 9, 2020 | President & CEO

A Message from our President/CEO

A Message from our President/CEO

Over the past 10 days, I have been at a total loss for words to express the many emotions that have been building up inside of me.

The tragic passing of Mr. George Floyd is just the tip of a slow-moving iceberg that has finally touched a raw nerve in the conscience of the people of America and around the world.

We cannot undo what is done, but we can open our eyes and minds to the injustice that led to this moment. Personally, I am seeing the light shining, where once only darkness lived. I hope and pray that our nation can become one of support, love, action, change, and unity amid this horror.

One thing we must do is, to be honest, and acknowledge the racism that exists today. It is in the fabric of our nation. It’s very real and very destructive. It’s not limited to our African American community, it also includes our Latino, Native American, and Asian communities, and any other non-white population seeking refuge in America.

We have been called to action, and we need to start to understand the problem and the systematic injustice that plagues our society. Right now in the United States, we know the following to be facts:

  • The median net worth of white households is $171,000 vs $17,600 of African American households.
  • The average income is $71,000 for whites vs $41,000 for African Americans.
  • The poverty rate is 8.1% for whites vs 20.8% for African Americans.
  • 33% of our prison population is African American, although they only make up 13% of our general population.
  • The US incarcerates at a much higher rate than other like nations, 655 per 100,000 people vs the UK it’s 140 per 100,000; Canada 114, Germany 75 and Japan 41.

We need to address and change the inequity and injustices in our system.

As a privileged white man, I cannot begin to understand what it must feel like to live and breathe this discrimination and injustice daily. I believe it is my job to listen and learn so that I can help move these experiences from tragedy to hope and change.

Today the Floyd family buried a father and friend. May they see hope and real change in honor of his memory. For Mr. Floyd’s children, and all children, I hope the history books mark this horrific event as an agent of change for our country and our world. R.I.P.