Our Pandemic of Racism

A health pandemic, an economic pandemic and a pandemic of racism. All three are leading to a mass awakening to the race-based ideas of supremacy that have impacted so many lives for so many years, including many of the lives of our staff members, board, clients, partners and community leaders.

Communities Unlimited (CU), its board and its staff, condemn the murder of George Floyd and so many Black men and women before him. We condemn racism in all of its forms, perpetrated through malicious intent, enabled in privileged silence or integrated in the structures of our economy, government and society.

Although it has been over 55 years since the passage of the first federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, racism continues to be an embarrassing scar on our nation. Economic disparities between white families and Black families are the same today as in 1968.

In the communities we serve in the Delta, the Colonias, Indian Country and the Alabama Black Belt, the impact of racism is evident—a lack of community wealth, lack of health care, no access to safe drinking water, no access to healthy foods, Black and Brown entrepreneurs without access to venture capital or bank finance, Black and Brown leaders with no voice in community decisions. The effects of racism permeate everything. It separates us from each other at a time when it is more urgent than ever to come together as one humanity.

While the path forward might seem unclear, change will only happen when white leaders in businesses, non-profits, schools, governments, banks, foundations, industry groups work hand-in-hand with Black and Brown leaders to actively implement practices and policies that lead to true equity—power sharing, inclusion in decision making and power networks, equal access to opportunities, capital, health care, education, political power—true equity without fear of intimidation, harassment or worse. It is incumbent upon all leaders, especially white leaders, to learn from, strategize and deeply collaborate with organizations led by people of color to ensure that strategies benefit all and don’t just become more checks in regulatory checkboxes.

Communities Unlimited’s success is the direct result of our diversity. Our power is derived from the diversity of our board, our leadership team, our team of supervisors and staff. We strive to deepen the diversity of voices at all levels of decision-making.

Communities Unlimited is committed to:

  • Holding ourselves accountable to ensure that each strategy we pursue leads to greater equity internally and in the communities with which we partner.
  • Deepening our commitment to giving historically underserved and discriminated communities access to resources and a true voice in the decision making process.
  • Listening deeply to our clients and staff and creating solutions that work for everyone.
  • Sharing power.

Join us. Together, as a fully integrated society, our institutions and accomplishments will be greatest when we connect with the highest potential in all people who make up our communities.