We, the members of the New Detroit, Inc. Board of Directors, acknowledging that this significant moment in our nation’s history demands decisive action that cuts deep, wide, and at the root of racism, particularly that which is systemic, put forth this declaration on June 19, 2020, declaring that we are now engaged in an intentional, deliberate, and lasting war on racism. We commit to this war until racism is abolished. We, therefore, by a Resolution of the Board of Directors of New Detroit, Inc and its affiliates declare that every personal and institutional action will be taken by us to combat all forms of racism and to actively, aggressively, and relentlessly work to eliminate all forms of oppression and to create anti-racist engagements, institutions, and systems wherever we know them to be.
We acknowledge that Black Lives Matter and have always mattered. We acknowledge that Emmett Till’s life mattered. George Floyd’s life mattered. Malice Green’s life mattered. Eric Garner’s life mattered. Tamir Rice’s life mattered. Frank Smart’s life mattered. Michael Brown’s life mattered. Walter Scott’s life mattered. Breonna Taylor’s life mattered. We acknowledge that the lives, names, and loved ones of the countless unnamed who have been murdered by police, matter. We say their names and mourn with their families. Our anger over their murders compels us to act, and
We acknowledge that white supremacy has dehumanized the lives of Black and Brown people for centuries. We further acknowledge that white supremacy and racism have been perpetuated by individuals, institutions, and systems in every community without consequence, and
We acknowledge that racism and its effects have victimized and terrorized Black Americans and other people of color through personal behavior, interpersonal engagements, and institutional policies and practices for more than 450 years, and
We acknowledge that racism manifests in the many actions and inactions of professionals dedicated to the well-being of others including those of police, educators, health care workers, policy makers, and industry leaders, through which Black and Brown people die too soon. We know that racism is, and must be universally acknowledged as a threat to public health, and
We acknowledge that racism is an offense to humanity and directly violates principles and values of the United States of America, specifically but not limited to those that uphold statements such as “…all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Accordingly, we further our efforts by holding ourselves, our systems, and our Nation accountable to end racism and all forms of oppression.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT
That the Coalition of New Detroit, Inc. commits to eradicating racism, bigotry, hate and violence in any form.
We commit to being fully conscious of institutionalized power afforded through white privilege. To achieve this, we will immediately, aggressively, and relentlessly: change our perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors toward racially oppressed people, institutions, and communities; invest deeply and personally in racially oppressed people, institutions, and communities, advancing them toward full equity and inclusion; and alter policies, practices, and procedures that marginalize, oppress, and/or keep out racially oppressed people, institutions, and communities; and commit to equitable investment in education.
Specifically, this will include:
working to implement structures, policies and practices with inclusive decision making and other forms of power sharing on all levels of the life and work of our institutions;
making official policy and public pronouncements regarding the moral and economic imperative of multicultural diversity;
actively recruiting, promoting, and investing in members of groups that have been historically denied equitable or inclusive access and opportunity to our institutions, industries, or communities; and investing in pipelines of diverse talent and suppliers.
We commit to understanding the historic contributions that we, our organizations, and our communities may have made to the perpetuation of racism and will actively engage in a process of reconciliation suitable to the victims.
We commit to processes of intentional institutional restructuring, based upon anti-racist analysis and continuous development of an anti-racist identity through full personal and organizational awareness and continuous improvement toward antiracism. Immediately this will include providing and seeking full organizational support and commitment to:
invest in assessing and training personnel and conducting organizational development activities, such as cultural and operational audits, within our organizations that proactively identify and address issues of racial bias and disparities;
explore, with the support of professionals, how we might be contributing to the perpetuation of racism, personally and organizationally, and proactively seek interventions;
as an individual, commit, learn, and gain skills to personally dismantle racism within our organizations and communities;
seek to engage all members of our institution in personal and organizational development processes that identify, address, and ultimately dismantle racism; and consult with and invest in organizations and institutions such as New Detroit, Inc. that provide tools and resources aimed at addressing and ending institutional and systemic racism.
We commit to intentionally make anti-racist multicultural diversity an institutionalized asset. This includes establishing critical performance metrics that are monitored by executive leadership and governance and a commitment to continuous improvement.
We commit to advocating for public policies that end racism. Immediately, we will include engaging the community in law enforcement reform advocacy. This will include taking an unwavering position on establishing:
a standard use of force;
training necessary to appropriately, adequately, and justly protect and serve all people and communities;
systems to identify disparate treatment and practices by race;
appropriate consequences for abuse of power by law enforcement;
partnerships with other organizations that are interested in policy reform toward antiracism; and facilitating and defining context for policy/systems change.
We commit to developing, investing in, and participating in programs, trainings, research efforts, and interventions aimed at identifying and dismantling structural racism and its effects.
We commit to calling out racism in every form at every level and with any person or entity in which we see it manifested. We further commit to using our collective voices to continuing to call it out until it is eradicated.
We will continue to have courageous and sometimes uncomfortable conversations about race to facilitate necessary change as it relates to harmful perceptions and actions.
We will facilitate seminars with the intentional focus of employing necessary methods around the process of healing and resolving generational trauma specifically related to racism and oppression.
Finally, we believe that thoughtful, intentional, and continuous implementation of these systems and processes actively engage us all in the war on racism and will align our beliefs, actions, and institutions with the principles and values that this great nation was built on. In this, “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” will belong to all in equal measure and without failure.