“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” - Dr. Martin Luther King
The Arizona Green Chamber of Commerce supports Black Lives Matter, and we believe that the elimination of institutional racism is required for the progress of a sustainable economy. When entire communities are subjugated due to the color of their skin, then we can no longer expect a society where all have the right to participate. The blatant presence of social injustice and discrimination towards the black community is something we cannot stand by.
The Arizona Green Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to enhancing economic opportunities and sustainability within this wonderful state of Arizona, and beyond. We do not see how an economy can flourish when black people experience a disproportionate amount of incarceration and police brutality. We also understand the source of the brutality is the institutional racism that pervades our society and works to maintain the institutions that keeps millions of people in poverty and unable to rebound from the slightest environmental, medical or economic shock and thus perpetuates the often life threating conditions they must suffer every day. These include:
•Living in areas vulnerable to climate change and heat islands (i.e., coastal and desert communities). “Climate change hurts the under-served first.”
• Coping with higher levels of existing health risks in comparison to other groups. This includes living in low-income communities and or high rates of uninsured individuals both creating difficulty in accessing quality healthcare
• Living in communities (food deserts) with limited access to healthy food choices thus increasing the rates of obesity, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and more. It has also been demonstrated that these conditions exacerbate the severity of the COVID19 disease when contracted.
•Reduced capacity to relocate or rebuild after a disaster.
• Living in communities with reduced access to quality living conditions and quality education for the children.
• Living in communities where to changing demographics, land values are increasing beyond the current residents abilities to economically cope and thus are subject to the negative aspects of gentrification.
• Racially based reduced access to capital inhibiting the starting of a business, improvement of a property or other means of improving quality of life.
• Partially due to land values and limited income opportunities, people are forced to live in communities near industries that pollute local air and water supplies or are near or within brownfield sites.
- Disproportionate levels of under-funding in education and public schools
- A lack of after school programs, and extracurricular activities available to children in communities that are predominantly black - which is a time when many black children face discriminatory police practices
- Employment challenges caused by costly daycare options, resulting in the need to choose between loss of pay by staying at home
• AND MORE
A successful, great and sustainable society depends on the participation of all and the equitable enforcement of laws. We thus condemn these injustices, and applaud the brave men, women, and children who have peacefully taken to the streets to demand change.
There are certain issues in this world where silence cannot be accepted, for in these instances silence constitutes support for injustice. This is why the AZ Green Chamber of Commerce will not sit on the sidelines without voicing our support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Instead we will be actively working to supply and implement socially, economically and environmentally sustainable solutions that work to lift people out of the racism caused and perpetuated conditions they may now live within.
Today, we all have a chance at changing the history that our children, and our children’s children, and so many more generations to come will study in school. Today, we have an opportunity to improve this wonderful state of Arizona that so many of us call home, and we have an opportunity to continue the progress towards freedom and justice that our great country, the United States of America, was founded upon. Today, we all must take action because these injustices should have been stopped years ago. Today, we admit that we should have listened sooner. Today, the Arizona Green Chamber of Commerce is publicly saying to Black Lives Matter: We Hear You. We Support You. We walk with you. You Are Not Alone.