Houston Endowment Statement – June 10, 2020

We stand with Black people everywhere who are feeling grief, outrage, and deep pain about George Floyd’s murder and the continuing pattern of violence and racism toward Black people throughout the country. Houston Endowment condemns his killing and we condemn the racism and structural inequities underlying this violence. We stand in solidarity with Black communities and all who are fighting to eradicate racial injustice.

This is a time to speak out. But solidarity statements are meaningless if they are not backed up with actions of change.

Houston Endowment’s vision is a vibrant community with equity of opportunity for all. Today, most of the foundation’s resources are directed to uproot the inequitable systems that perpetuate and increase disparities among our fellow residents. Recent events are a brutal reminder that we could do more to directly address the racial injustices that are embedded in these systems.

Houston Endowment will do more, beginning today. Our board has unanimously approved a commitment of $25 million over the next four years toward organizations and causes dedicated to racial justice and equity. Alongside our financial commitment, we are pledging to take the following actions:

We will continue to build on our current work with greater urgency, pushing harder to be the community we envision—a vibrant, inclusive, and anti-racist community where everyone has real opportunity to thrive.
We will deepen our engagement and investment in communities and local leaders of color.
We will lift up and support organizations that understand and have earned the trust of the communities they serve.
We will seek new voices that deepen our understanding of the issues.
We will explicitly call out and take on the racial injustice and bias embedded in systems that serve our region’s residents.
We will continue our learning journey to advance our personal and organizational equity practice.

Eradicating racism, injustice and inequity will require the best from each of us. At Houston Endowment, we are moving forward with greater clarity of purpose and with a strong sense of humility that we have much to learn from the community we serve. We pledge to these actions and commit to sharing them with the community. We ask that you, our community, hold us accountable to upholding these commitments. We stand ready to work alongside others toward the change we seek: a just and equitable future for all.

Houston Endowment Board of Directors & Staff