For nearly 50 years,
Levy Ratner has fought racial inequality.
We do not plan to stop now.
In fact, we will continue to be vocal about dignity and equality for Black people.
At Levy Ratner, we as individuals—and we as a firm—are committed to ending racism today and always. We stand in solidarity with those who seek justice for the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Tony McDade, who have recently died at the hands of injustice, along with countless others before them.
These protests underscore the systemic false accusations made against Black people, young and old. The same underlying issues were recently exposed to the world when Chris Cooper was simply birdwatching in NYC’s Central Park. The line between Mr. Cooper’s experience and Mr. Floyd’s death is direct, and is made clear: simply being Black comes with daily risks.
Our feelings of outrage and devastation by these injustices, emanating from slavery and white supremacy, have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. While it has upended all of our lives, it has disproportionately affected Black communities and revealed persistent racial disparities.
As we mourn every COVID-19 loss, we recognize our client 1199SEIU and their frontline healthcare members, who are providing indispensable care during the pandemic, along with our other union clients and their members who are designated essential workers.
In order for there to be change that allows all Black people to breathe without fear of loss of life—theirs, their children, their families—there must be advancements in equity in education, health care, economics and law. This is the only path to eliminating the racial divisions in our country. We urge you to work toward those goals and support those organizations that are also doing so. Our firm continues to make that commitment.
We know it is necessary that we have uncomfortable dialogues amongst ourselves about the racial divide and look within to examine our beliefs about race and their source. These dialogues should encourage us to embrace unity and equity. And thus we urge you to make these commitments to yourselves, your communities and to the institutions that you are part of. Look for resources that can assist in expanding knowledge of our shared history, deepening reflection and opening up space for hard discussions.
One way we can all be a voice of change is to vote and to encourage others to do the same. Silence is no longer an option. 2020 has shown us loud and clear that elections have consequences – that who is in leadership matters. This country was slow to respond to the pandemic (increasing the numbers of infections and deaths), yet quick to authorize the maiming and killing of protesters with impunity by the military and police.
Levy Ratner has never been comfortable with the status quo and we recommit to banding together with others who share our convictions to pursue what is right.
“The acceptance of our present condition is the only form of extremism that discredits us before our children.”Lorraine Hansberry