• EDASC condemns racism, establishes Social Justice & Equity Task Force

    June 19, 2020
    On Juneteenth, the anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the U.S., EDASC and its board of directors would like to publicly express its collective grief over the recent and past murders of Black Americans by police and private citizens targeting them because of their race.
     
    The wide range of racist manifestations in our society affecting Black people – such as disproportionate policing and violence, economic discrimination, unconscious bias and microaggressions in work and life settings – demands everyone’s attention.
     
    EDASC’s board feels the need for self-reflection, learning and growth within EDASC’s mission of making Skagit County a more equitable, sustainable, and prosperous place for all to live.
     
    In that vein, EDASC is establishing a standing Social Justice and Equity Task Force, aiming to keep racial equity at the forefront.
     
    Goals of the task force include developing and finding learning models for business, government, nonprofits and educational institutions, and to research, uncover and combat the countless ways our society and economy disadvantage and devalue Black people on personal, professional, institutional, and systemic levels.
     
    Some of the ideas and thoughts advanced:
    • Perform education and outreach on the legacy of slavery, including working to improve our Black neighbors’ outcomes in entrepreneurship, employment, education, and health.
    • Highlight research showing that companies, workplaces, and communities benefit from diversity, both operationally and fiscally, and are in turn more successful in attracting a strong workforce.
    • Emphasize social justice for Black people even more purposefully in the Leadership Skagit curriculum.
    • Research, develop and offer actions such as supporting Black-owned businesses (e.g., procurement opportunities, business and marketing support, patronage) and promoting more and better hiring and recruitment opportunities.
    • Become better informed about the history and current ramifications of slavery and Jim Crow impacting Black Americans throughout our country, including elements of racism in the Pacific Northwest.
    • Model and lead growth in anti-racism in our region and beyond by taking this deeper dive and comprehensive look at resources, support and learning on systemic racism. We must learn from those living the experience, keeping in mind that this is a life-long process.
    If we’re not part of the solution, we’re part of the problem. EDASC and its board condemns racism and its impact on the Black community, and pledge to learn and act to end it.