In the Community
A Message to our Communities about Social and Racial InjusticeSeptember 28, 2020
The issue of racial and social injustice has commanded intense national attention over the last several months. That spotlight has unearthed significant inequities and systemic racism not only in Minneapolis, Louisville and Kenosha, but across the entire nation, and in the Lowcountry as well. From use of the term “plantation” to the potential redirection of Highway 278 through Native Islanders’ property, many of us have realized that we, too, must conduct an honest assessment of our role in both perpetuating and confronting such ongoing inequities.
Throughout our history, the Community Foundation has addressed issues that disproportionately affect people of color. We have supported untold efforts of local nonprofits working toward the betterment of people’s lives. We undertook the Project SAFE initiative to help families on Hilton Head Island’s north end, primarily Native Islanders, connect to public sewer.
But we need to do more.
We are starting with diversity training for our staff and our board. Additionally, we now require all nonprofit organizations applying for grants to develop a social/racial justice statement and demonstrate how they will implement it. And we, too, will be focusing on how we can ensure we are proactively standing tall against these injustices.
As part of our commitment to addressing longstanding injustices, we have adopted the following statement.
A Commitment to Thought and Action: Our Stand Against Racial and Social Injustice
At Community Foundation of the Lowcountry (CFL), one of our key goals is to build and strengthen the place we call home by working together with all others in our community to address critical issues facing our region.
Today one of those critical issues is systemic racism, across the United States, which is deeply rooted in our nation’s history.
- CFL categorically denounces all forms of discrimination, bias, and racial profiling, which, at their extreme, leads to senseless violence and death.
- We stand with the multitudes of peaceful demonstrators who are coming together to demand social and racial justice.
- CFL is committed to providing actionable solutions and a safe forum for constructive dialogue in addressing these complex injustices.
CFL celebrates the rich diversity of our region. Equity and inclusion are at the forefront of our work.
- We demonstrate this by authentic and tangible outreach to our marginalized neighbors, in order to improve the quality of life for all who call the Lowcountry home.
- We welcome collaboration with individuals and organizations who are also striving for a more just and equal society here at home, and across our country.
Working together, we can and will make a positive impact now…and for generations to come.
In recently adopting this document, our board of directors has committed to providing actionable solutions to these complex injustices. While our commitment is strong and deliberate, our work has just begun.
We are looking inward to ask the tough, probing questions about our work, to find the solutions that support all of our community members, and to continue to build those important collaborations for stronger outreach efforts to our marginalized neighbors.
In beginning this work the entire CFL board and team are committed to working together across our community to make a positive and powerful impact for today and far beyond tomorrow.
I hope you will join us.