Silence is Violence: Black Lives Matter

Global Integrity
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This week has been a tumultuous week in the United States. The tragic killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25—the latest in a long line of victims of police brutality—laid bare, yet again, the issues of violence, oppression and institutional racism that scar this country and many others, and which too many of us have ignored for too long. In response, protests have spread rapidly across the United States and around the world, demonstrating the frustration and anger that many feel, and raising the hope that if enough people take action, the current crisis may be an opportunity for transformational change.

Based in Washington, D.C., just a few blocks from the White House, the Global Integrity team includes 14 colleagues from 10 different countries and a diverse mixture of ethnic backgrounds. Our Board too benefits from a wealth of diversity. Informed by our values and the life experience of many on our team, we stand in solidarity with the victims of police brutality and institutional racism, in our communities, across the country and globally. We support the right of citizens to protest peacefully, demanding accountability, reform and justice from their governments, including in the face of militarized intimidation. And we celebrate the commitment, compassion and creativity of all who strive for justice and healing.

The focus of our organization’s work is on supporting efforts to address corruption and improve the use of public resources in countries and communities around the world. These issues are closely intertwined with the challenges of achieving social, and racial, justice. However, we are well aware that many other organizations have vastly more experience, greater expertise, and more legitimacy to address these challenges than we do. Nevertheless, we—and all others in positions of privilege and power—have a responsibility to speak up, while being sure not to take center-stage. Inspired by others who have taken a stand, or taken a knee, we cannot stay silent in the face of injustice. 

 

Photo-credit: @prolificfilms, as used in “A D.C. Police Officer explains why he knelt before protesters. His reason matters”, by Theresa Vargas, Washington Post, 3 June, featuring Carlton Wilhoit.

 

Listening and learning is the first step to informed and effective action. This will be our next step as we consider how best to engage in relation to the challenges of racial injustice and systemic injustice more widely. As our understanding improves, we commit to doing what we can to help to better address issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice, including in relation to race, individually, within our team, in our work with partners in different parts of the world, and within the open government community of which we are part.

We look forward to playing our role—a supportive role—more effectively, and helping to shape a world in which Black Lives Matter, and justice and kindness prevail.

 


 

Alan Hudson (Executive Director), Ania Calderon (Chair of the Board), and the Global Integrity team.

Global Integrity
Global Integrity

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