During this time of profound grief, unrest, and reflection over the mistreatment, abuse, and murder of countless Black Americans in the United States, the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation is proud to support our social impact collaborators and clients working to address systemic racism and advance a more equitable future.
Social Impact organizations like the Center for Policing Equity (CPE), a nonprofit research and action think tank that produces analyses identifying and reducing the causes of racial disparities in law enforcement, are dedicated to reforming policy and behavior. CPE has been at the forefront of these issues since 2016,with their work recently being highlighted in the Obama Foundation Town Hall on Policing and Racism and its leadership featured on the PBS special, Race Matters: America in Crisis. Using evidence-based approaches to social justice and engaging directly with all stakeholders, CPE uses data to create social, cultural, and policy change.
"George Floyd's death was tragic, brutal, and unnecessary. We offer our sincere condolences to his family, friends and the Minneapolis community he called home." said Co-Founder and CEO Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff in a statement about Floyd. "Our organization has been working with the Minneapolis Police Department for years to reduce burdensome and inequitable policing. During that period, Minneapolis Police Department has adopted policies that have become models across their state and the country. But leadership in police reform is not sufficient to prevent tragedies like the one too many of us saw unfold on a cell phone video Memorial Day. And the best in law enforcement still have a long way to go. That is because the problems of policing are not only problems of department policy and behavior, they are also the result of our collective failure to value the full value and dignity of Black life. And until the nation fully reckons with this foundational sin, we will be forced to pay again and again in Black lives and fractured communities."
Another leading voice in this critical conversation in the social enterprise space is our longtime collaborator, Echoing Green. Echoing Green provides support to social entrepreneurs through its fellowship program and has been laser focused on addressing barriers to fundraising and racial equity in philanthropic giving. Their president and CEO, Cheryl Dorsey, recently stated in an essay offering tangible strategies to move forward together "What the world witnessed last week [and] what's happening now in America is not new. Now is the time to invest in Black leaders & Black-led organizations. It's not enough to desire equity and sustainability in our recovery. It is time to act, to make it so, and that leadership must be rooted in racial equity; anything else will be far too incremental, far too hollow, and far too idle to meet this moment."
Other inspiring organizations supported by the Foundation and Lex Mundi member firms have included The First 72+ and UnCommon Law, working toward solutions around mass incarceration that disproportionately affect African Americans; Impact Justice, Recidiviz, and Measures for Justice that all focus on smart, data-driven solutions to address failures and gaps in the justice systems; WeThrive and Kid Power that work with youth in pre-dominantly minority schools; as well as Weird Enough Productions and Academy-Award winning director Ava Duvernay's nonprofit, Array Alliance, that use entertainment and media to promote holistic storytelling through film and comics that are reflective of the lived experience of people of color in the United States and celebrate their outsized contributions to the democratic promise that all people are created equal.
The Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation believes that especially now, it is important to amplify the missions of inspiring organizations who have been working tirelessly to address racial justice and equity issues. We recognize that there is a lot of work yet to be done and stand ready to assist all our collaborators and clients who are working toward a more just, equitable, and peaceful society.