Standing against Racism and Injustice

June 5, 2020

Dear friends of CIL,

Our hearts are broken as we witness, along with all of you, more violence and death inflicted upon Black Americans, more pain and suffering and anguish, all the result of systemic racism and anti-Blackness.

Like so many others, we at CIL are taking a look, individually and collectively, at the ways in which we have been complicit in supporting an unjust system, and we are committed to creating a more just system — through our work at CIL, and in all aspects of our lives.

Our work at CIL is fundamentally about building bridges across difference. But we need to have some hard conversations about exactly what we mean by that. Too often, it’s people with less power and privilege who are burdened with doing the “bridging.” Privilege in all its forms creates dominant narratives of what is “normal”; privilege thus keeps people unaware of all the ways in which others are altering their behavior towards the dominantly accepted “normal.” It is time to question what we consider “normal,” time to commit ourselves, and time to level up our efforts to dismantle long-standing societal “norms,” starting with the systemic racism and anti-Blackness that continue to lead to senseless suffering and death. To the extent that we have privilege, we must use it in service of this cause.

At CIL we are committed to bringing anti-racism into our work more explicitly and with more frequency and regularity.

If you are asking yourself what you can do, a wealth of resources exist. Here is a very short list of a few of our recommendations:

Meanwhile we will continue to say the victims’ names — George Floyd, Breonna Taylor (who would have been 27 years old today), Ahmaud Arbery, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, and countless others — as we work toward a future where nobody will breathe their last single moment too soon, simply because of who they are.

With sadness, anger, and love,

The CIL team