Marching Forward, A Letter of Solidarity and our call for

Change

By Kenechi Onyeagusi, PBDG Executive Director

A letter from the desk of PBDG’s Executive Director

Hello,

Few things have shocked, incensed and laid bare the realities of life in America like the video of George Floyd, dying on the pavement of a Minneapolis street, with a police officer’s knee on his neck.

That tragedy came so soon after the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery in a quiet residential neighborhood in Georgia, and in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic in which African Americans have been twice as likely to be among the 100,000 fatalities as their white counterparts.

Something about all these events offers such powerful converging evidence that a deep multi-layered racial divide still lies woven within the American experience. Something about the way George Floyd died has awoken modern day America. It shows us that we still have so far to go to create a racially just nation, and that we need to move the problem of racial equity up in our ordering of personal and institutional priorities.

Racial inequities is one of the primary reasons that in 2020, we need a government program to ensure equitable opportunity for people of color to fully participate in our industry. Communities of color have been so ravaged in the fight for rights that it should freely enjoy as human beings, that our voices are hoarse… but we cannot afford to be quiet. The recent events feel like giant steps backwards. We are hurt, shocked, angry and desperate for change. PBDG stands in solidarity with the slain and call for an end to racial inequalities, injustice and profiling all over the nation.

In the same vein, we must not lose sight of who we are, what we stand for, how we lead or what our goals are. As we impact change, we do it as committed members of the community, civic leaders and responsible business men and women. I would like to invite PBDG members, partners and friends who would like to dialogue to reach out. PBDG is a place of healing where we welcome all colors and all voices that want to work towards equity, together.

We would welcome any member that would like to discuss this or any other issues or concerns to reach out to me or our any of our board members, we are here for you. PBDG is also offering coaches to our partners who are struggling with how to reach out to their subcontractor partners of color especially African Americans, to help you frame the conversation. It’s hard to know what to say and if it feels like there is no right answer… words of empathy, support, solidarity and a renewed commitment to equitable partnerships are healing.

Today, we work for lasting change so that the generations after us can truly live free.

With all my heart and support,

Kenechi Onyeagusi,
Executive Director

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