A Statement on Black Lives Matter

Dear Friends, Partners and Neighbors,

Community Ventures adds its voice to those supporting Black Lives Matter and others calling for accountability and justice in response to the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, and to other crimes against people of color. Community Ventures’ mission is to develop housing and improve Philadelphia neighborhoods in partnership with local Philadelphia community organizations. Our mission does not directly address police violence against Black Americans. However, it directly addresses poverty, which disproportionately harms Philadelphia’s Black population, and which has been worsened by the severe effects of COVID-19 and its economic impacts on Black communities.

Community Ventures’ program of partnering with local neighborhood organizations has kept Black voices in the mix and has raised up Black community priorities as we help to rebuild areas of Philadelphia that have suffered decades of disinvestment. However, in spite of meeting established equal opportunity goals that were created in part to address historic exclusion of Black citizens from the construction workforce, we are not satisfied with the levels of participation by Black and Brown workers on our construction sites. We commit to redoubling our efforts to increase the diversity of our construction contracting and workforce, particularly among the skilled trades.

We are now in a time of peril and opportunity. We see the intensity with which the forces of White Supremacy seek to hide their crimes and escape accountability, and at the same time, we see the large, diverse and peaceful demonstrations calling for a reckoning with the past, and for change.

We support that call for change. Specifically, we support calls for reform and accountability for the police. We support calls for equality and racial inclusion in the construction trade unions. We support calls for the expansion of health coverage to all Americans and an end to unequal treatment by the healthcare system. And finally, we support calls for bold proposals to end poverty; proposals that include significant investment in public education, the expansion of affordable housing and more equal distribution of housing subsidies.

These changes will not occur without action. It is urgent that we peacefully and massively protest. And it is urgent that we VOTE. Please VOTE in November!