Statement by the Guttmacher Institute’s Board of Directors

May 31, 2020

The Board of Guttmacher joins CEO Dr. Herminia Palacio in acknowledging the pain our nation is enduring. The killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, six days ago today, has again shined the spotlight on the systemic, structural and individual racism that haunts our wounded and divided society.

As Dr. Palacio stated in her Guttmacher Update message on Friday, we too remain unwilling and unable to avert our gaze. We share the outrage and the sadness over George Floyd’s death. This most recent visible incident of a black man losing his life at the hands of those who are supposed to protect us all comes even as the COVID-19 pandemic takes a disproportionate toll on communities of color.

We add our voice as a Board of Directors because all voices are required. We stand with our staff, particularly with those who are black and people of color, during these most difficult times. We stand with our colleagues fighting the injustices and inequities that limit people’s essential right to have evidence-based sexual health and reproductive care. And we join the call to channel the outrage to fight anti-black racism.

The Board wants to elevate and affirm our individual and collective responsibility to combat racism—especially the responsibility of those of us who are white. We will not end racism unless we all acknowledge our implicit biases and commit, every day, to being antiracist. It is a demanding task, and we must accept that this work never ends.

In the most difficult times, true leaders lift a light to the path forward.  We thank Dr. Palacio for her leadership.