An Open Letter to Economic Institutions In The Face of #BlackLives Matter
Addressed to Our Allies in the Economics Community
This letter is about whether you will choose to stand on the right side of history as your Black colleagues are hurting. Every day we do our best to show up for work, despite understanding that COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted our communities. Additionally, over the past weeks, the proliferation of news highlighting the plight of unjust police brutality plagues us. Many of us attempt to cope with the current reality and still show up for work, an all too familiar lifestyle of double consciousness, coping with the current reality of our broader lives while showing up, always at our “best”, in the workplace. This letter is not a plea for your sympathy, but rather a call to action for allies who understand the systemic violence that has led to dozens of protests across the United States. As demonstrations and the movement at large are being undermined by white supremacists, accelerationism and senior economists, it is necessary that the field take deliberate measures to address the exclusion of Black economists.
Within our nation, systemic racism is an age-old problem, demonstrated most recently by the police killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. The systemic oppression of Black people enables this form of direct violence at the hands of the police, along with countless other varieties throughout society at large. We need a vocal and action-oriented approach which shows you care that your Black colleagues do not walk through the world living in fear of how their lives are disregarded in America. We are reaching out because we are concerned with your immediate acknowledgment, coupled with meaningful action to address this issue.
Here are examples of institutions who have demonstrated a commitment to making or upholding change:
- University of Minnesota: The institution will be scaling back ties with the Minnesota Police Department who is responsible for the death of George Floyd.
- YouTube: Released a statement of concern and donated $1M in support of efforts to address issues of social injustice.
- Glossier: The platform released a statement of concern and will be donating $500K in…