Across Missouri and our nation, brave individuals are coming together to take a stand against systemic racism and police brutality and to honor the memories and lives of, most recently, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and David McAtee. Countless other lives have been lost before them, including Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, and Michael Brown.
We at the Missouri Budget Project stand with protesters in their demands for racial and social justice. Because Black Lives Matter.
While the current protests started after the recent killings, which come as Black communities are unduly bearing the burden of COVID-19, they are borne from centuries of systemic and institutionalized racism that has plagued our nation for centuries. It infects our health, economic, housing, criminal justice, and education systems, is embedded in our state budget priorities and tax structure, and is rooted in public policies at our national, state, and local levels.
In the months and years ahead, the Missouri Budget Project has a responsibility to work on these underlying policy issues, and we commit to doing so. MBP has previously undertaken steps internally to grow our understanding of systemic racism, but we’re still learning. We recognize that we must continue to learn, to change, and to serve. And to seek guidance from those who much earlier dedicated themselves to this journey as we work to identify how we can best, as an organization, support existing efforts.
But, we do know that creating lasting policy change, change that will provide the foundation for each and every Missourian to thrive, requires every organization, every leader and every individual to commit to working toward equity and inclusion. We stand with our colleagues, our friends and our neighbors to call out racism and to work toward policy solutions that will build a better tomorrow for every Missourian.