June 5, 2020Steve Jacobson
Dear Friends and Colleagues:
We here at JCA, like you, are shaken and outraged by the injustices we have all borne witness to in recent days. The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and David McAtee are, for many of us, nearly beyond comprehension. For many others, they ring all too familiar.
We know that these are five people who have been stolen from their families, from their communities, and from the world—and we know that stopping at five, as if there is not name after name after name going back at least four centuries, draws an arbitrary line across an unspeakably tragic list that should be hundreds of pages long.
We admire the commitments to anti-racism that many of our clients and partners have made. Like many companies who have shared reflections during this time of reckoning, we must acknowledge and take ownership of the fact that our past efforts in support of racial justice have not been deep enough, sustained enough, or accountable enough. We want and need to do better.
As a company dedicated to helping nonprofits make the world a better place, we know that we can only meet this mission by committing ourselves to uprooting racism. In the coming days, we will begin working together as colleagues to develop a long-term, sustained strategy for JCA to take concrete steps towards dismantling white supremacy—in ourselves, in our country, and in our world. We anticipate that we will make more mistakes, but we strive for them to not come from complacency or complicity. We are dedicated to the practice, discomfort, and action that anti-racism requires. We hope that you will hold us accountable to this commitment, as we offer our support and effort to help you fulfill your own.
We believe that, in order to truly be the anti-racist company we strive to be, we need to strengthen our awareness, knowledge, and skills. I, along with the rest of JCA, am committing to company-wide anti-bias and anti-racism training on an ongoing basis. We are also committed to evaluating our own internal policies and practices to eliminate systemic racism. Please keep an eye out soon for the result of our development process, and please know that we welcome all feedback, advice, and solidarity, as we work to better position JCA as an active contributor to the vital work of anti-racism.