Our thoughts are with those who lost family members, friends and neighbors in the racist attack that took the lives of ten innocent people in East Buffalo — the result of a person inspired by white supremacist ideals.
As an organization, we committed to centering social justice and racial equity in our approach to community development. That commitment requires us to call out the perpetuation of white supremacy and to invest in the strategies and tools that dismantle the systemic racism that inspired such a heinous act. We have long invested in projects that promote community safety because we cannot support living in a world where one does not feel safe picking up bread from their neighborhood grocery store.
Beyond the horror of the attack itself, this incident has a ripple effect on the residents of the historically Black Masten Park. Tops was the community’s primary grocery store. It was a community hub and because of this attack residents are grappling with living in a food desert. We have directed capital to support projects that combat such issues because we understand how detrimental it is when people do not have access to basic resources.
We cannot just pay attention to communities only in the wake of tragedy. We must continue our work of investing in equitable and opportunity-rich communities and center racial equity in our efforts.