Reflecting, Recommitting to Inclusion in Columbia
Today, the country marks one year since the murder of George Floyd. This country reverberated with waves of activism in many forms in response. Here in Columbia, we saw demonstrations and inspired conversations throughout the greater Howard County community. The following is a statement from Columbia Association (CA) President/CEO Lakey Boyd:
This day demands everyone take a moment of remembrance and reflection for what we all witnessed on that video footage of George Floyd’s life being taken. I am making that time to connect personally with my family and friends, and I think it is important for Columbia Association (CA) to mark this moment as well.
Columbia was founded on the ideals of inclusion. This community was purposefully built with the expectation that every person of every background is welcome and valued. Since its conception, this has been a community of action that embraces growth that only comes when we are all able to bring our unique perspectives to the table.
Last year, hundreds of you came to the Columbia Lakefront to protest the events you witnessed in Minneapolis. Collectively, Columbia declared that such acts of hate would not be tolerated here. We continue to stand with everyone who raised their voice that day and every day since that we have had to mourn more lives lost.
I feel honored to join a community that is enriched by an incredibly diverse set of experiences and deeply shared values. Still, we must continuously and consciously recommit to what James Rouse started decades ago. This organization is finding new ways to face truths and raise issues of equity and inclusion internally and we will be doing more of that externally as well.
On behalf of CA, I am committed to engaging the entire community on these topics and to actionable accountability as we move forward together. As a starting point, CA will work with our local partners to support an event focused on discussing equity and inclusion and identifying meaningful ways we can take action by the end of the summer. We owe it to everyone who adds to the vibrancy of Columbia to lead conversations and approach them with empathy and compassion. Our history is rooted in these values, and they will be an important part of our future we are creating together.