The COVID-19 pandemic has been compounded by the outpouring of voices calling for racial justice. We hear frustration, despair, anger and fear, but also hope, love and a genuine desire to do better in our community. The health disparities, which have been exposed, and the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, have put a spotlight on racial inequities in profound ways. It is no secret that the Buffalo Niagara region is deeply segregated. These racial divides are caused by systems that have resisted change and hold back our communities of color. We live in separate and unequal neighborhoods, attend inequitable schools, and have inequitable access to jobs, housing, parks, entertainment, and services. (www.racialequitybuffalo.org)
The Community Foundation and its clients share a desire to leave our community a better place for future generations. We are in a pivotal moment in our nation’s history with an opportunity to make much needed change and close racial equity gaps. Voices are being raised louder than ever and people are listening.
We know what holds one of us back, holds us all back. Our community will reach its full potential when we work together toward racial equity. In 2015, the Community Foundation convened the Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable, a group of nearly 40 community leaders with an additional 250 partners committed to advancing racial equity by changing the systems that create barriers for people of color to have access to fair and equitable opportunities. We encourage you to learn more at RacialEquityBuffalo.org.
The Community Foundation reaffirms our unwavering commitment to close racial equity gaps in our region. We invite you to link arms so that we can build the community we aspire to become.
We are here, we are listening and we welcome your thoughts as we move forward together.
With heartfelt gratitude for your partnership,
Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker
President/CEO, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo
Francisco M. Vasquez, Ph.D.
Chair, Board of Directors, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo