Posted June 04, 2020 in Articles
Author: Julie Washington, cleveland.com
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Acknowledging that systemic racism affects everyone, more than 20 Greater Cleveland organizations have signed a declaration of racial equity and inclusion and pledged to address racism as a public health crisis.
Participating organizations include the Cleveland Clinic, the Cleveland Foundation, Cuyahoga County Community College, Destination Cleveland, Dix & Eaton, Downtown Cleveland Alliance, Gund Foundation, Inc., Karamu House, NAACP Cleveland and Playhouse Square.
The pledge announced Thursday follows nearly a week of demonstrations and civil unrest in Northeast Ohio and around the world in support of George Floyd, a black man who was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis.
“As leaders of institutions that all seek a better future for Cleveland as a whole, we are all fully committed to this charter and pledge our individual and collective resources to set forth tangible actions to undo structural racism,” the initiative said in a press release. “This is our commitment to our greater Cleveland community, and we ask that you join us as partners in this critical endeavor – and this day forward, let our actions speak louder than our words.”
A diverse coalition of organizations and institutions from across the region pledged to set forth tangible actions to undo the structural racism present in the community, the statement said. Organizations will pursue these actions individually and report their progress as a coalition in the future.
The statement of support reads as follows:
“This past weekend, across our country and here in Cleveland, we witnessed the ignition of long-smoldering injustice and inequity in our black and brown communities, the evidence of which is undeniable yet frequently overlooked: The rate of COVID-19 infections and infant mortality, disproportionate unemployment and another murder of an unarmed black citizen – George Floyd – at the hands of a police officer.
“Systemic racism is everyone’s problem. In Cleveland’s continuing fight for racial equity and inclusion, we have a singular history and have played a progressive role on a national stage. Prominent African American leaders throughout Cleveland’s history and today, have been instrumental in pushing us into the forefront. What we have learned over time is that this is not a fight of one race but rather a fight of one community – our Cleveland community.
“Standing united, we are today voicing our strong support of recent legislation passed by Cleveland City Council to declare racism a public health crisis. Still, this is not enough.
“Rectifying a system of structural racism will take much more than words. Work has been done, and, while incremental change is apparent, we need to do much more – and we need to do it now. We must act, stand with justice and work together across our community to do our part to both heal and begin to undo the endemic racism that has and continues to disproportionally hurt our city – emotionally, physically and in terms of reputation.
“This legislation can enable and empower us to take this issue head on. It can provide a platform rooted in policy that can initiate substantive care and sustainable change, beginning at a governmental level and then cascading throughout our community.
“What we do now to collectively hear the voices of pain, loss, and fear can initiate the actions we take to heal, change and unite our city to define us for years to come.”
The statement of support was signed by:
Birthing Beautiful Communities, The Cleveland Clinic, The Cleveland Foundation, Cuyahoga County Community College, Destination Cleveland, Dix & Eaton, Downtown Cleveland Alliance, Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation, First Year Cleveland, The Greater Cleveland Partnership, Gund Foundation, Historic Gateway Neighborhood Corporation, Historic Warehouse District Development Corporation, JumpStart Inc., Karamu House, NAACP Cleveland, Playhouse Square, The Presidents’ Council, The United Way of Greater Cleveland, Urban League of Greater Cleveland, YMCA of Greater Cleveland and YWCA of Greater Cleveland.
Additional organizations are welcome to join the initiative by contacting Jason Guyer of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, email@example.com.
Original Article: View Online