Foster Garvey joins those calling for an end to systemic racism and the injustices that Black people face. We condemn the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and so many others. To the Black community: we stand with you.
In this critical time in our nation’s history, Foster Garvey has engaged in ongoing conversations about the need for concrete action from our institutions. As legal professionals, we believe it is our duty and a moral imperative to use our platform and privilege to take action in support of our core values of inclusion, equality and respect for people of all backgrounds. This includes taking action to eliminate systemic racism and barriers to social and economic equity, not only in this moment, but also going forward for as long as it takes. We are hopeful that, working together with the Black community and communities of color, we can create a more inclusive and equitable society.
We are reminded that this message is not new, but continues to need repetition and action. Over 50 years ago, the Reverend Martin Luther King said:
Something positive must be done. Everyone must share in the guilt as individuals and as institutions. . . .
The hour has come for everybody, for all institutions of the public sector and the private sector to work to get rid of racism. And now if we are to do it we must honestly admit certain things and get rid of certain myths that have constantly been disseminated all over our nation. One is the myth of time. It is the notion that only time can solve the problem of racial injustice. . . . Remaining Awake (Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, March 31, 1968)
We acknowledge that there is much more work to be done and that, frankly, we need to do better – within our firm, our communities and our institutions. To this end, we are taking steps with renewed urgency to create positive change, including by devoting increased pro bono resources to criminal justice reform and transformative justice and by strengthening our firm’s culture of diversity and inclusion. We are grateful for the work of our Opportunity and Progress Council and Pro Bono and Community Service Committee that helps organize our efforts.
Racism, bias and hate have no place at Foster Garvey or in our society. Foster Garvey is committed to staying focused on these critical issues in order to help make real and lasting change. It is time to have the difficult conversations and do the difficult work, together as a community, but also individually as institutions and stakeholders. Time alone will not resolve these issues.