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George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. Countless others. Their senseless deaths highlight the painful reality that even in the year 2020, the lives of people of color in our country are not valued the same as the lives of everyone else. It is all too clear that systemic racism continues to haunt our society, and when that racism is carried out with deadly consequences, particularly by those entrusted to keep us safe, the pain, anger, and hopelessness become unbearable. It isn’t enough to call for justice. It isn’t enough to blame it on a “few bad apples”. We all need to look within ourselves and admit that the problem is pervasive and will erode our country from within if left to fester any longer. We need to find the courage to speak up and call for lasting change. We need to push back when others demonize or otherwise dehumanize the victims. We need to push back when people say they just want things to go back to normal. “Normal” for people of color in this country is one where they have to worry about getting pulled over by the police, or worry about sitting in their own home, or worry about going for a jog. They even have to worry about going bird-watching. This is not a normal any of us should accept. We are at a turning point. Not one where we turn to violence and rioting, but one where we demand lasting positive change from our government, our institutions, each other, and most important… ourselves. It is on each and every one of us to make that happen and we can’t stop until the lives of everyone in this country are valued equally.
HRE has a diverse team and we do not tolerate racism or discrimination of any kind within our culture. We see the pain some of our team members are feeling and want them to know we stand with them and everyone else that has experienced racism or discrimination. We invite everyone to get involved. Support organizations that are working for positive change. Contact your local elected officials. Join a peaceful demonstration. Vote.
True change starts with each of us.
President / CEO
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