Introducing The Skillman Visionary Awards

Stopping the loss of black lives

This is a difficult time for us all. We are witnessing unspeakable tragedy and violence against humanity. Be it in Orlando, Sandy Hook, Minneapolis, Baton Rouge, Dallas, Ferguson or Baltimore.

We grieve for the lost lives of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and the other 134 black people who were killed during police interactions this year. For the five police offers who lost their lives. For the families and communities that have lost loved ones. For our country, crippled by its engrained biases and inequities. And for our children, who are losing their innocence as they struggle to grasp the irrational construct of racism.

Today, a friend’s 11-year-old daughter pleaded with her: “Please, mommy, have daddy fix his tail light. I don’t want him to get killed.”

A co-worker, David McGhee, had a similar, heart-wrenching exchange with a young man at a youth program. “How you livin’?,” David asked, to which the youth solemnly replied, “I can’t live. I’m too busy trying to survive.”

Failure, imprisonment and death because of one’s skin color is all too prevalent.

We must confront the systems and structures that perpetuate – and incentivize – racial bias and divide. We must come together to heal ourselves, our community and our country.

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