A message from Peggy Zink, President & CEO; Dave Herche, Board Chairman; Tom Gilman, Lead Director; and the entire Cincinnati Works Board of Trustees:
Racial inequality has existed in America for as long as racial diversity has existed. Our black neighbors, in particular, have faced systemic prejudice for more than 400 years. The United States have never been Equal States. We are sad and we are grieving the loss of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless others who have been killed and otherwise victimized by undue police brutality and bias.
We stand in solidarity with our staff, our Members, and our partners who are directly challenging systems that discriminate against people of color, such as education, housing, transportation, employment, and criminal justice. And we actively work to help our Members thrive in spite of those systems.
We are committed to being a part of the systemic change that is long overdue. And we know that must begin with diverse and inclusive leadership within our own board and executive team. We have been and are working on this, but our pace must accelerate.
We also know that income inequality is likely to worsen as the coronavirus pandemic lingers, more businesses suffer, and more individuals lose their jobs. Through our work helping the unemployed and underemployed in our community, Cincinnati Works knows that, while unemployment stretches across racial lines, it cuts deepest for our Members with barriers that are already steep – where housing is unstable, where transportation is unreliable, where education is incomplete, where access to physical- and mental-health resources are limited. In short, where systemic racism has persisted.
As our work gets more difficult in the coming months, our passion and our commitment will not wane. We see the strength our Members possess, and we envision a world where they are able to thrive because of our systems and institutions, not in spite of them. A world where Cincinnati works for all.