We are living in historic times.
A global health pandemic. Quarantine. Depression-era unemployment.
And now, we have once again witnessed the murder of an African American man at the hands of the very authority that is supposed to protect him.
We are heartsick over this. And as we’ve supported each other through the pandemic, we will also walk together through this national tragedy.
Many of us are feeling overwhelmed by it all and need a moment – or many moments. Take them.
To reflect in silence. To make your voice heard. To take action.
There is no “right” way.
As for this moment, we must call the death of George Floyd what it is: The worst form of abuse of power. Hate manifested in racism. Murder. Evil incarnate.
Over the last few years, I’ve been blessed to serve on the board of a not-for-profit helping African American men as they come out of prison, seeking a better life. The group’s work lives into the assertion from our country’s Declaration of Independence that all people have intrinsic worth and are “...endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” The death of George Floyd, just like countless others in plain sight and in the shadows, is another harsh reminder that far too many citizens are not treated as though they have intrinsic worth.
When we brought together the five companies that formed the “new” Brado, the first stake in the ground that we drove was that we would be a place that Values the Individual – we recognize that every person has intrinsic value and we celebrate the diversity of experiences, talents and views we each have. This core value means that Brado has to do more than just call the death of George Floyd what it is.
It means we must be more proactive and intentional about living this value, every day.
It means we are challenged to do something about it.
And we will.
Over the course of the next few weeks one of the first things we are going to do is host conversations with people who have an expert or especially valuable perspective on systemic racism, inequality of opportunity, and reconciliation. We will see where those take us.
We are living in historic times. Here’s to living into them, together.
Andy Parham, CEO
In creating this piece, I wanted to bring attention to the idea that black men are not solely affected by these injustices, but also black women and children. I am hyperaware of not perpetuating black trauma through images, so I chose instead to juxtapose the seriousness of this time by imagining us in an ethereal, tranquil light. It pays homage to those who have passed, through the flower imagery and the circle, which subtly acknowledges the names of those who have been killed by police brutality.
Hayveyah McGowan lives in St. Louis, Missouri and is a designer with Brado