Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. George Floyd. Tony McDade. Sandra Bland. Oscar Grant. Eric Garner. Trayvon Martin. Michael Brown. Philando Castile. There are thousands of names that never became a hashtag.
We say these names and stand with Black people around the world in stating without qualification:
Black Lives Matter.
The last few weeks have been a stunning wake-up call to the pervasiveness of systemic racism against Black people in the United States and the violence of police brutality that is a direct result of it. But it’s not new. It is a centuries-old problem deeply rooted in the soils of our country. And every name is an urgent reminder of the missteps we’ve made as a society and as individuals. They are a reminder of all the times each of us has had a chance to speak up, but didn’t. This failure is ours.
We have not done enough.
It’s our responsibility to implement change within our company, within our communities, and within ourselves. Today, we are working on ways to bring greater equity into our thinking as individuals, our company structure, and our ongoing initiatives. The following organizations and initiatives are working tirelessly on the frontlines to provide material change to impacted communities:
NAACP Legal Fund
Black Lives Matter
Know Your Rights
Showing Up For Racial Justice
Black Futures Lab
Chicago Bond Fund
Minnesota Freedom Fund
Legal Rights Center Incorporated
We encourage non-Black people to support their Black peers today and in the future:
- Educate yourself by learning about police violence in the United States and anti-racism practices (Anti-racism for Beginners, Anti-racism Resources for White People, Asian American Pacific Islander Resources on Anti-Blackness)
- Donate to Black-led LGBTQ organizations, such as Affinity; Brave Space Alliance; Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus; Lorde, Rustin and Bates; BYP100; and The Okra Project
- Get involved in local anti-racist campaigns
- Support Black-owned businesses (blackownedchicago.com)
- Help local efforts to clean up neighborhoods affected by looting, such as My Block, My Hood, My City.
The VPG team and the founder – Megan Van Petten – are in support of our Black team members, family, friends, community members, and the entire #BlackLivesMatter movement at large.
Megan Van Petten and the VPG Team
Campaigns the VPG Team has donated to: