We at the Jerome Foundation mourn the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN. We recognize that we live in a country that systemizes violence on many levels against Black people—a system whose most visible recent victims also include Breonna Taylor in Louisville, KY and Ahmaud Arbery in Glynn County, GA. In the wake of the murder of Mr. Floyd, all of us at the Jerome Foundation are resolved and insistent that the future cannot be a simple return to the past, even as we mourn the rise in violence and destruction in cities across the country. This means something different for each of us individually as we wrestle with our own histories and with injuries and the injustice that is so deeply entrenched in every aspect of our culture. Together as stewards of a Foundation we collectively bring those struggles to our commitment to persistent, active engagement with our values and our love of community, as we define the role of our mission in making change.
As we grieve, reflect and work through this unprecedented moment, we are inspired by the courage of protestors who are angry and anguished yet peaceful, and the overwhelming responses of fellow citizens to one another’s basic needs. And we are fiercely proud and honored to support artists who lead us towards social justice and who, both in their lives and in their work, challenge a system and a structure that not only has allowed but has actively encouraged the recent events. We stand in solidarity with them. Our work going forward honors them, and the power of art. We will collaborate and act for change. And we all look forward to playing a role in crafting a new time and a new world in which we say “Never again”—and it actually comes true.