Statement from our CEO, Carolina Martinez

I’ve written draft after draft of this statement. Words do not flow and do not convey the feelings experienced in the last few days. Ensuring economic development opportunities for our minority and underserved business owners was our team’s priority during this pandemic, which already has affected the black community disproportionately; then the death of George Floyd happened. It’s time to reflect for a moment.

Source: LA Johnson/NPR

Communities of color have been depressed within a society that does not provide fair ground rules and seems unwilling to change. We speak the names of others who have unjustly suffered over the years and keep asking ourselves, how can we build an equitable economy when not everybody sees a human life as equal?

Even though we are still in search for answers, we know that we can’t remain silent. We need systemic change. It’s time to use a single voice recognizing that our strength comes from diversity.

The federal government has called to contain the protests in not so peaceful ways; this is not the leadership this country needs so desperately. This call is only exacerbating the frustration of a community in search of justice and equality.

Today, we stand with the black community in their call for justice and a reckoning of the structural inequalities.