We at Fairhill Partners are both saddened and outraged at the murders of unarmed black men and women by the police. George Floyd and Breonna Taylor are only two deaths at the hands of police in communities of color; acts of violence for which there is no excuse. We believe there is an urgent need to transform the way police carry out their work, to eliminate continuing bias against black and brown Americans. These deaths are one horrific and visible symptom of our failure to eliminate entrenched, structural racism throughout our society and violence against any human being.
Justice for all demands equal opportunity to live our best life and make good choices throughout our lifespan. Fairhill Partners’ mission—connecting people to opportunities for lifelong learning, intergenerational relationships and successful aging—is grounded in this belief. For 30 years, we’ve worked to empower Greater Clevelanders, especially older adults, to live their best lives. Clean air, fresh water, safe homes and neighborhoods, healthy food, good quality health care, education, freedom to worship, and freedom to disagree or protest are critical to justice for all.
The deaths, the protests arising from the George Floyd killing and other killings, and the incessant hijacking of key issues by partisan wrangling have made us reflect on how Fairhill Partners can do more to eliminate racism and achieve racial equity. Our Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers will do more to increase our awareness and understanding of racism and educate ourselves on effective ways to advocate for change on personal, local, state and federal levels. To make this effort real, we commit to including a discussion at every board and staff meeting of how we can work together to achieve racial equity as we carry out our mission, and to follow up these discussions with action steps.
We hear the pain; we see the crisis; now, more than ever, we will respond.
Frederick W. Clarke Stephanie FallCreek, DSW
Chairman of the Board President and CEO