A Statement from the Leading on Opportunity Council on Racial Injustice

— We Stand in Solidarity

To the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community:

The tragic recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, as well as Keith Lamont Scott here in Charlotte in 2016, are more than just stark reminders of the work we all have left to do – they must be a call to action. For all of us. How many more people will be killed before we collectively take a stand as a community to eradicate racism? We continue to see racism in the senseless killings around the country - we can’t wait any longer to take action. We continue to see racism in the economic inequality that we have been focused on systemically changing. We continue to see racism in health outcomes and life expectancy. We continue to see racism in the lack of opportunity and upward mobility in Black communities. We continue see racism in the segregation issues in schools as well as in disparate educational programs and outcomes. And we, as The Leading on Opportunity Council, have been working on strategies and systems change to dismantle racism. But we know we need to do more. Now. And we need your help.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force Report from 2017 has provided a framework to address racism and inequity in economic opportunity. Although we have made progress, we know there is much more to do. We also know that this framework isn’t perfect and must evolve as needs change – and we are committed to making that happen. Our North Star Goal is that “within a generation, every child in Charlotte-Mecklenburg will have an equal chance to achieve social and economic success”. This will not happen without everyone in the community working together to make this vision a reality. And we must.

We must directly address the inequities within our communities, work to dismantle racism, and help define, together, how we can move forward collectively. We invite you to join us this month as we co-create community action – please be on the lookout for ways to engage with us and others as we continue the conversation and the work we need to do.

With appreciation and in solidarity,

Andrea B. Smith and Erin Barbee
Co-Chairs, Leading on Opportunity Council