OUR COUNTRY MUST CHANGE
The bitter spring of 2020 has unmasked, once again, the twisted face of our country’s systemic racism.
In a few brutal weeks, COVID-19 snatched more than 100,000 American lives. Some 25 percent of those lives were African American.
Businesses, schools, sports teams, entertainment venues, movie and television productions all ceased to operate as the economy went into free fall. The impact of economic inequality in our society was immediate: cars lined up for miles at food banks, children went without virtual education because their families can’t afford computers and Internet access, renters and homeowners worried about shelter for their families.
Within the span of a few days, Breona Taylor was killed in bed as a “No Knock” search warrant was executed, Armaud Arbrey was murdered while jogging in a white neighborhood, and, in New York’s Central Park, a woman weaponized her “whiteness.” Amy Cooper knew instinctively the scenario that could be expected to unfold if she called the police on birdwatcher Christian Cooper, a black man who’d advised her to follow the law and put her dog on a leash. So she made the call.
And finally, as onlookers pleaded for him to stop, a Minneapolis police officer calmly ground his knee into a man’s neck. His hands resting casually in his pockets, he murdered George Floyd in broad daylight, in full view of a shocked crowd and, later, a shocked nation. Mr. Floyd’s crime? Apparently, he had used a counterfeit $20 bill to buy a pack of cigarettes.
This was the equivalent of a public lynching. But this time, unlike the response in the America of a hundred years ago, many, many more Americans were outraged. The Floyd lynching ignited a diverse movement of people gathered in righteous protest.
AABLI supports the protests that are taking place in the country. The time has come to take on the task of dismantling the vestiges of slavery, to root out systemic racism and to revive the proposition that all men are created equal and are endowed by the Creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
For too long, those inalienable rights have been denied to Black people. AABLI was formed to prepare African Americans to become leaders in organizations that have an impact in our communities and ultimately the nation. I anticipate that our alumni will be active, along with the protesters, in working to dismantle the system of racism as it exists in America today.
It is time, way past time, to let democracy breathe.
Co-Founder and Board Chair
Dear AABLI Family and Friends,
We hope you are staying safe and well in these unprecedented times.
This year promises to be our toughest season in memory. The AABLI board and staff are confident, however, that our community will demonstrate a renewed passion for our collective mission: to strengthen nonprofits, public and private organizations through recruiting, preparing and assisting with the placement of African Americans on a broad range of governing boards.
To learn how nonprofits and board members can respond to COVID-19 (coronavirus) and beyond, we recommend watching the NEW AABLI Board Talks videos. Click here to view previously released Board Talks, featuring our esteemed alumni who respond to some of the most common issues facing our community.
Thank you for supporting The African American Board Leadership Institute and its commitment to
strengthening and diversifying leadership in nonprofit, public, and private organizations.