General | June 2, 2020

Until Black Lives Matter, No Lives Matter

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts even without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Last week, we watched as another unarmed black man was killed in front of witnesses. We did so through a “pandemic lens” that has amplified again the disparities in public health access and economic equality embedded in our culture. While our hearts and thoughts go out to the families and communities of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others who have senselessly lost their lives, we recognize that this offers little comfort when cries and pleading are blatantly ignored. Protests and riots do not emerge from a single event or issue.

How many more people of color must be sacrificed because of our racism? How much clearer can it be?

  • Until black lives matter, no lives matter.
  • When any human life is devalued, genocide is always a possibility.
  • We are all at risk.

For those of us who are white, we must do – not just speak. We must act to make real differences for people of color in our institutions and our systems. We must become “anti-racists” – in Ibram Kendi’s paradigm. We must stop cooperating with evil and actively seek solutions. We must listen and hear the unheard.

We start with this list of 75 Things that White People Can Do for Racial Justice posted by Equality Includes You.

Our ignorance is not an excuse for nonaction. How many more will be murdered while we seek full understanding? We must recognize that silence itself is an action and that we each play a role.

As a network of over 1,000 nonprofits, PANO resolves to do better at dismantling racism.

We don’t have all the answers; we have so many questions. So we know we will not do this perfectly.

We simply ask you to join us in this very human effort.

Anne Gingerich, Executive Director
Beth Docherty, Board Chair


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