Dear Friends and Colleagues,
We at the Carey Institute are appalled at the horrific murder of George Floyd, the latest in a long list of unjustified racist killings that took the lives of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, as well as Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and countless others besides.
We acknowledge the pain and grief of the families, friends and communities that have suffered these tragic losses. While recent events have focused the world’s attention, the outrage expressed in these protests are rooted in centuries of injustice, discrimination, pain and suffering. We stand in solidarity and affirm that black lives matter.
A few short weeks ago it was unimaginable to think that the CoVid-19 pandemic could be displaced from the forefront of our thoughts and the news headlines. However, the systemic inequities exposed by CoVid-19 – black Americans are 2.5 times as likely to die from the virus as white Americans – have been magnified by the horrific killing of Mr. Floyd and reflected in the failings of our justice system. We must be unequivocal in our recognition that black Americans are disproportionately, systemically disadvantaged.
The mission of the Carey Institute is to promote a strong, educated and just society. We believe that people should be educated, healthy and safe. Quality education is a right, and is necessary, though not always sufficient, to ensure that citizens are informed, engaged and have their rights protected. The CoVid-19 crises illuminated the value of – and how we undervalue – educators in our society. The protests across the country, and around the world, underscore how critical it is that we protect these rights and support equity in education and economic opportunity.
We know that inequality damages all of us. Societies with the greatest levels of inequality have the worst health, life expectancy, infant mortality, and mental illness indicators. They experience more violence, higher rates of incarceration and greater distrust. Compared to other rich countries, the United States has the largest income gap and the highest rates of homicide, incarceration, mental illness, and teenage births. It has amongst the lowest rates of life expectancy and educational attainment. These issues affect all of us, and thus it is in the interests of all of us to address them. Yet black people suffer disproportionately. It is essential that we listen, learn and understand. We must educate ourselves and others, and work together to address these inequities.
We recognize that racism pervades our society today. We stand in solidarity with the black community and condemn racism and injustice in all its forms. We will continue to work to create a better future for all, but we recognize we must do better.
To all of you who strive, with courage and hope, for justice – we thank you and we stand in solidarity with you.
President and CEO