The brutal deaths of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery are only the most recent instances of hateful killings of Black people. Too often at the hands of white police officers, these are not isolated cases of police violence; our country has never overcome the legacy of slavery and continues to uphold systemic racism and inequality.
We watch these events unfold as a family that benefits from the privilege of being white in America. Our roots are in the South, and our history is the history of the South. We continue to reckon with the reality that our ancestors benefited from the labor of enslaved people and that succeeding generations have continued to benefit from the social system of white supremacy.
So, we are determined to use our privilege and our resources to ally ourselves with those fighting to dismantle the systems that have perpetuated racial inequity. We know we have much to learn about systemic racism, so that we may effectively respond to racial injustice and discrimination wherever it exists. As allies, we commit to act in solidarity and support, in the following ways:
- We know that learning starts with listening. We will use our influence to bring people together to listen to each other. To make space for conversations about race in our community, to hear the stories that bring the harsh data of racial disparities to life.
- We will use our resources and networks to amplify those voices and stories and move people to action.
- We will support, and build up, organizations advocating for long-overdue changes and speaking truth to power.
- We will follow and support the leadership of Black- and Brown-led organizations, without expecting them to solve the problems that we and our forebears created.
As these most recent outcries for justice are being sent out across the world, our Black and Brown neighbors in Greenville continue disproportionately to live in poverty, experience homelessness, receive an inequitable education, and lack access to nutritious food or good health care. The pandemic has lifted the veil on these inequities and exacerbated them. The economic disparities mirror the racial disparities.
But even as we mourn what is happening today, we refuse to lose hope for tomorrow. We are inspired by seeing more and more Americans, of all ages, colors and political persuasions, all socio-economic levels, with diverse lived experiences, demanding that the systems that
have perpetuated white supremacy be fundamentally dismantled.
We at the Jolley Foundation join those voices demanding that elected officials retire unjust laws and reform unjust policies that allow and sometimes encourage violence against Black people to be perpetrated by the government. We are hopeful that the Greenville community can work together to create a more equal and just Greenville.
We believe that Black Lives Matter, and now, more than ever, we are committed to a just, compassionate, and vibrant community.