With the worst global health crisis since the Spanish Influenza, the largest national recession since the Great Depression, and now, the strongest engagement in racial justice since the Civil Rights era, these are historic times.
SBC’s work frequently raises the alarm for crises facing the Sierra Nevada. The ongoing movement for racial justice has reminded us that we cannot tackle the challenges of our region relating to climate justice, small businesses, or environmental health, without also addressing the inequalities that people of color face both within our communities and beyond.
Equity is inherent to sustainability, resilience, and our triple bottom line mission. Today, we are recommitting to that foundational value, one that will determine how we as an organization show up for our partners in progress in the weeks, months, and years to come. We are reflecting on how we can improve our efforts to bridge the divides that exist in our society, how we can identify our blind spots so that they don’t cause our efforts to fall short, and how we can better serve.
We also have hope.
We encourage our community to follow and support the work of the NAACP, Black Lives Matter, Campaign Zero, Southern Poverty Law Center, Loveland Foundation, California Black Chamber of Commerce, Sunrise Movement, Outdoor Afro, California Rural Legal Assistance, and the many other organizations driving meaningful social progress to create a more equitable nation. We urge our network to support businesses and organizations led by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color). We value the experiences of BIPOC who live, work, vacation, and recreate in the Sierra. We support transparency in police departments, writing specific and precise legislation about the use of force, and increasing funding for the communities that have been harmed by over-policing. We are also hopeful that this movement will lead to systemic reforms of our social and economic systems that have failed to incorporate equity as a core value.
Thank you to every member of our network engaging at this moment, working to achieve better understanding, sharing resources, and taking action towards a more equitable region, state, and country. We are with you.
With solidarity and hope,
Sierra Business Council