BLACK LIVES MATTER IN THE TIME OF PANDEMIC

BLACK LIVES MATTER IN THE TIME OF PANDEMIC

We find ourselves in an evolutionary moment fighting to survive two deadly pandemics.

One is new and the other is old.

Covid-19 has laid bare the myriad of societal inequities that exist regarding financial and food insecurities, educational resource disparities, medical insurance and basic access to health care, the
value of frontline workers whose various jobs require them to show up every day to keep those of us able to safely shelter at home properly supplied or to keep us alive. The importance of caring about one another has never been more important or more valued. The fragility of our economic structures has been entirely laid bare. More than 40 million people have filed for unemployment over the past three months and we now face a terribly uncertain economic future. Too many Americans lack fundamental access to capital and the impact on small businesses has been
devastating.

The standard and deadly truths of structural racism are also fully exposed and cannot be unseen. The devastating murders of Ahmaud Arbery Breonna Taylor George Floyd and still more black lives since, have retraumatized the black community. The confluence of cell phone videos on social media have spread at lightning speed across the globe, ripping off blinders and forcing a reckoning that will not be denied. There is a worldwide sense of outrage that crosses ethnic lines. We must recognize fundamental differences that exist for communities of color and the fear that law enforcement often inspires in those they are sworn to protect. We must rise to this moment to rectify and unify.

LIATI stands in solidarity with the black community and citizens of the world who are rising in peaceful protest the power of bigotry that has existed for centuries. This virus of systemic racism is just as deadly as the coronavirus pandemic.

LIATI stands in solidarity with the Native communities across the US who have been particularly hard hit by the corona virus. The pandemic has shown in sharp relief that communities of color are disproportionately impacted by health crises because of systemic racism and intentional neglect. LIATI stands in solidarity with and draws inspiration from the leadership of the young people around the world who are standing and saying that they intend to make a different world that is more just and understanding.

As a business enterprise, and as individuals, we intend to do all that we can to keep constructive conversations going on these important issues and to work in all ways to not only learn the lessons, but to also pay them forward.

Everyone must work to ensure that both the momentum and the weighted importance of this evolutionary moment does not slip back in the challenges of the day-to-day. The economic fallout
from Covid-19 will disproportionately wipe out small businesses in communities of color. Many of these businesses were excluded from financial assistance by our government so their survival is not assured. This must be addressed. NOW.

We are energized by this moment and committed to doing the hard work of building understanding and empowering disadvantaged communities as we seek to bring about positive change. As a firm, and as individuals, we stand on the shoulders of men and women of conscience and commitment. We can do no less.