Statement of Racial Equity 2020

 Statement on Racial Equity

Allan Oliver
Executive Director
Thornburg Foundation
June 23, 2020

We are appalled and heartbroken by the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and countless fellow citizens who have lost their lives to racism and bigotry.  They deserve justice.

Systemic racism is deeply embedded in our past and present society.  We recognize that racism prevents progress toward a fair, effective agricultural system, an equitable education system, an adequate, responsive social service network, and a just, representative democracy.

COVID-19 has laid bare the massive inequities for Native American populations and other communities of color in our state, such as inequitable access to clean water, healthy food, health-care, housing and resources, whose root causes are deeply connected to systemic racism.

As an organization dedicated to investing in enduring solutions to help solve problems affecting people, we seek to learn from community and colleagues about best paths forward.  We continue to value evidence, collaboration, strategy, excellence and, especially, integrity.

Going forward we are committed to the following actions:

1.  Holding up the ideals and commitments made in the New Mexico Association of Grantmakers Statement on Racial Justice.

2.  Implementing our October 2019 Diversity Equity and Inclusion statement, which includes the following next steps:

A.  Research how race determines outcomes in agriculture, education, democracy, criminal justice, health and economic mobility in New Mexico.

B.  Review of our grantmaking work through a race/gender equity lens.

C.  Furthering our own staff and board’s knowledge and understanding around Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

D.  Dedicate $100,000 of current grantmaking toward racial equity.

As a foundation, we enter into this dialogue with humility and a commitment to learn.  We are listening.