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June 4, 2020

Our Crisis

In March, we reached out to you when the COVID-19 crisis descended upon us. Even though we are still in the midst of addressing the negative effects of the pandemic, today we’re reaching out again as we face another crisis that is affecting our cities and shaking  our nation to its core—and it should. The crisis we are facing is not new, it is embedded in hundreds of years of systemic racism which we must stand up against in our personal lives and our professional roles.

We are sad and angry about the brutal and senseless murder of George Floyd and all who have died at the hands of violence and racism. As a local foundation we care deeply about—and stand in solidarity with—all individuals, families and organizations in our Greater Philadelphia community. We believe in the inherent dignity of all people. We denounce any form of racism or violence.  We believe we are united by our humanity, so when one of us is hurt, all of us are hurt.

We recognize and honor the people and organizations who have been fighting against racism and violence for decades. We also know that philanthropy, despite its desire to make positive change, has systems in place that contribute to the crisis. We must examine ourselves, our actions and our work. We do not have perfect answers but we must be willing to ask the questions and to have honest conversations and to seek better answers. We are asking these questions at The Barra Foundation and we know that actions will speak louder than words.

We stand together in grief and in hope for change.

Kristina L. Wahl           Robert L. McNeil, III
President                             Chairman of the Board of Directors