Usually, when you hear from Social Solutions, it’s because we have an answer that fixes a problem or a solution that solves a challenge that stands in the way of achieving outcomes toward a better future. The unlawful killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, along with countless other racist acts have left the Social Solutions team, our network of clients and partners, and me full of sadness, despair, and pain. Now today, when it comes to systemic racism and oppression of Black Americans, we don’t have a simple answer. What we do have, though, is a commitment to align our talents, convictions, and network to create an anti-racist future, because that is who we are.
While we do not have all the answers or solutions right now, we know this for certain: we condemn oppression and violence against the Black community, and we will channel our resolve to drive fundamental change to dismantle systemic racism, inequality, and injustice for all. And through that, the question I have heard most from our Social Solutions team isn’t What should we say? but rather, What can we do?
With this in mind, the people of Social Solutions are taking three immediate actions:
- We are donating to organizations that are working towards the goal of combating racism and driving social justice. Our employees are directing these dollars to national and local organizations that they believe can create the most impact and change, including Black Lives Matter, Minnesota Freedom Fund, Reclaim The Block, The Bail Project, and more.
- We are making space within our organization to support ongoing learning and create greater empathy and understanding. I recently read something that struck me: “Educate yourself. This doesn’t go away once the topic isn’t trending.” Racism is a problem too complex and too painful to simply make a statement and then continue with a ‘business as usual’ mindset. We’re approaching this as a journey – one where we will need to continue learning and driving action over time. To help guide us, we’ve begun compiling a library of resources, and we’re creating forums to spark frank conversations among our teams about race, systemic injustice, and the best ways we can listen, learn, act, and drive lasting change.
- We will work across our network to collaborate on the development and execution of programs that can combat racism. Many issues the social good sector is trying to solve – housing insecurity, food insecurity, access to education, unemployment, and more – have a common root problem: systemic racism. By working together, we will combine the data and the experiences across community partners to build a cohesive strategy for how all of us can fight to end racism in communities everywhere.
The crises of injustice and hate, along with the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated economic impacts, have created unrelenting distress and anxiety for human services organizations and the millions of people you collectively serve. You and your clients are in our hearts.
We know there is much work to be done. Please consider this the start of a dialogue and an invitation for us to learn and create lasting change together.
With you to create a better future,