A Statement on Race from Arcus Foundation

June 4, 2020

We at the Arcus Foundation join the millions of others around the world who are frustrated and shocked at the killing of George Floyd, who died last week in Minneapolis—cuffed and prone with a policeman’s knee crushing his neck. The fact that voices must again be raised to assert “Black Lives Matter” in the wake of yet another senseless death of a black man is an affront to all humanity.

The pain of race-based violence in its myriad forms is all too familiar, not only in the United States, but in places around the globe where it has persisted for centuries. Nations on every continent have been and continue to be torn apart by racism and racial violence, including genocide.

Throughout the past 20 years, since the foundation was established, combatting racism and racial violence has figured prominently in the work of our grantee partners. These threats affect profoundly the very individuals and populations that Arcus seeks to help lift. We remain committed to focusing our support on those most pushed to the margins, including, as one important example, trans women of color, estimated to be murdered in the U.S. at seven times the rate of the general population.

While racial violence harms us all, George Floyd paid the ultimate price and one that none of us would ever expect or wish to pay. So, it is critical that we recognize our responsibility and resolve to keep his memory—and that of millions like him—alive. We will meet that pledge in our ongoing support of the brave activists and communities who confront the worst of racism at the greatest personal risk and at close range on a daily basis.

We find ourselves, amid a global pandemic, confronting two formidable, viral foes—one biological and the other societal. Both exploit silence expertly to kill, so silence is not an option. That is why we speak today, why we mourn with the family of George Floyd and so many others like him, and why we will not rest in our quest to see us all live in harmony with one another and the natural world.

We are grateful for the opportunity to support, among others, the following organizations whose work on behalf of LGBTQ people or nonhuman apes centers or integrates racial or ethnic justice. We stand with them always and especially today, and we encourage you to engage with their work and explore their resources.

U.S. partners who center racial justice in their work:

Non-U.S. partners whose work centers or integrates social justice for indigenous people suffering from racism or ethnic discrimination:

In solidarity,

Annette Lanjouw
Chief Executive Officer

Bryan Simmons
Vice President, Communications