Woodstock Institute Staff Statement on Racism Against Black Lives by Police in America and Recent Protests

In the past few days, we bore witness to a country overwhelmed with anger and pain. Our communities are reeling, our hearts are broken.

Today we say to our Black brothers and sisters, we hear you. Black lives matter. Black communities matter. Black futures matter.  

The brutal killing of Black people by police must end – and it must end now. We ask this in the name of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Laquan McDonald, Sandra Bland, and so many other Black lives that were taken at the hands of an officer whose job it was to protect and serve them. We hear community calls for police reform, and we agree: the system must change.

Woodstock Institute was founded in response to racial discrimination. Through our research and policy advocacy in the financial system, we are uniquely aware of how bad policymaking can perpetuate racial discrimination and breed inequity. We see this in the stark reminder of segregated communities throughout the country.

Our staff has taken the past few days to come together. We went to protest, to pass out food in our community, to reach out to our loved ones, to grieve, and to discuss how we can each better address racism in our own lives, in our communities, and in our government.

We will continue to advocate for the end of racist policymaking, be it through unscrupulous financial service providers, discrimination in housing, or unjust fines and fees. We hope you can join us in this fight.

We will point you to two items today:

  1. We are sending a letter to federal banking regulators urging the use of the Community Reinvestment Act as a tool to invest in Black communities broken by recent looting, but still starving from years of disinvestment. See letter. Please contact us to sign on.
  2. For those who want to be an ally in the fight for racial justice, our Communications and Development Associate Jenna Severson put together a resource guide. She encourages you to share it and to give feedback.

In peace and solidarity,

The Staff at Woodstock Institute