Raising Our Voices Against Hate, Discrimination and Systemic Racism

A Statement from TriMet’s Board of Directors

 

To those using their voices to rally against hate, discrimination and systemic racism—we hear you and we join you in the call for systemic change. Our freedom of expression is a fundamental part of our democracy, and we honor the storied legacy of protest and how it has shaped the colonial history of this continent over the past 400 years.

Collectively, we share the pain, anger and frustration felt across America and are outraged and disgusted by the killing of George Floyd. We recognize his story is only one of many more throughout our country and we state that systemic racism must end. We will not close our eyes or ignore the bold and brazen actions that have amplified the unequal treatment, acts of hate, discrimination, systemic racism, and violence against African Americans or any other race in this country. We see the connection this killing has to other injustices against other communities of color and we denounce all such behavior, whether or not it is intentional, implied, or obscured.

Undoing the systems of injustice that led to George Floyd’s death will take perseverance and hard work, but together we can and will create a better tomorrow for everyone.

Many of our nation’s most significant turning points were the result of determined individuals and leaders protesting in the streets. This moment is an extension of this legacy and we stand proudly in support of the people who have risen to shine a light on this injustice. While the protests have disrupted vital TriMet services and the physical damage to our community is disheartening, those disruptions and losses do not eclipse the call for change. Let us all focus on the message and significance of those who are justifiably and peacefully protesting, exercising their fundamental right. We especially acknowledge the ongoing efforts and will review the demands from black leaders and organizations calling for change.

This is a moment to listen to voices of color and acknowledge their experiences. This is an opportunity to correct the mistakes of the past for all underrepresented persons going forward. To ensure a brighter future for all, we must be honest about our past. It will take hard work and courage to face the challenges ahead but working together, we can identify problems and work to solve them. As Board members, we understand this commitment begins with us.

We will be working with the General Manager, Program Directors, staff and key voices from the community on a series of actions designed to gain a deeper understanding of where our agency can further support Black, Indigenous, Asian Pacific Islander, LatinX, Immigrant, and other People of Color. This will be a continuous and ongoing endeavor. We know this is a question worth asking and we are committed to staying open to what we discover along the way.

We are stronger together and how we move forward now will make all the difference. Undoing the systems of injustice that led to George Floyd’s death will take perseverance and hard work, but together we can and will create a better tomorrow for everyone.

 

TriMet Board of Directors
Bruce Warner, Travis Stovall, Linda Simmons, Lori Irish Bauman, Keith Edwards, Ozzie Gonzalez, Kathy Wai

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