It is with deep sadness that I write this message. We have all seen the disturbing events that have taken place over the course of the last week in the United States. Rallies and protests shining a light on the ongoing injustices, such as the killings of Ahmaud Arbery outside Brunswick, Georgia, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, and George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I’m deeply saddened by their deaths and I’m deeply disturbed. Disturbed that these brutal and senseless incidents are still happening in our country today. Our country has unfortunately had a long history of this. We need to change. We have to stand for justice.
In the words of Toni Morrison, “The function of freedom is to free someone else.” It is in dark times like we are experiencing now that we need to come together to stand up and be the light for others and ourselves. We need to drive out discrimination and unwarranted brutality and say, “no more.”
As an organization striving for inclusivity and committed to embracing our community’s diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, age, and thought, IFT will not stand for any form of discrimination or injustice. Our core values of integrity, passion, progress, and most importantly respect and community, are what define us as a collective organization both professionally and personally. Our commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity has never been more important. Now more than ever we need to stand by our values and stand up to those who oppress others with a blatant disregard for life.
This is an incredibly difficult time, one that will define us, one where we can choose to come together to create a more just society in which all are safe and treated with respect and dignity. We owe this to Ahmaud Arbery, to Breonna Taylor, to George Floyd, and to others who have lost their lives to racism.
Pam Coleman, IFT President
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