Community Strategies Group Statement on Structural Racism
The Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group
Statement on Structural Racism, June 2020
Over the past weeks, our nation has been galvanized by shock, grief and anger at the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many others. Civic action has brought people out of their homes to protest far beyond Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., New York and Los Angeles – bearing witness on the Main Streets and byways of rural America as well.
On May 28, 2020, Aspen Institute President Daniel Porterfield shared a statement that underscores the Institute’s and the Community Strategies Group’s commitment to do all we can to redress structural racism and injustice in every corner of our lives and our work. For 35 years, Aspen CSG has worked side-by-side with community leaders and organizations as they build more prosperous regions and improve well-being for those who are disenfranchised and on the economic margins – with more than 75% of our work in rural America. We know that in both rural and urban America, Black, Brown, Indigenous and People of Color carry burdens forged over hundreds of years into the structure and practices of our social, economic, educational and governance systems. We believe that investments in local capacity – in the capacity of people and organizations in the place they live, work and raise their families – is critical to building the momentum for justice and change. We also know that as human beings, we all (and always) have the capacity to learn and change; with humility, we recommit to the self-reflection that is key to strengthening our practices to combat bias and racism. We invite you to join us on this journey, to help us know what is true, and to support the local people and organizations in your region who work tirelessly to fight injustice – and to build the better future we want to live in together.