Black Lives Matter: A Statement from Executive Director Roderick L. Jones

Goddard Riverside stands for equity, justice and freedom for all people.  We stand with the black community throughout our city and our country who are literally fighting for their lives.

In difficult times like this, people need to express their pain, anger and outrage.  We honor that expression and hope it serves as a catalyst for real change.

We grieve for the lives lost and all the harm racism has caused and continues to cause.

Racism is a cancer on our nation. It shortens lives and robs people of their futures. While it singles out some for oppression, it hurts all of us by depriving society of the fullest measure of their capabilities.

New York City justly prides itself on its diversity. Respect for and sensitivity to diversity and individuality are part of the fabric of this city. However, as a city we can and must do more to support fair, equitable, and just treatment of Black people.

We ask the Mayor and City Council to clearly and unequivocally condemn police violence. We ask them to put a halt to aggressive policing of this uprising. While realizing that some people are using the protests to wreak destruction, we call on the police to avoid punishing masses of protesters and instead focus on harm prevention at the individual level. We also join our fellow settlement houses in calling on our city to rededicate a portion of the police budget to community support, social services and education. 

Goddard Riverside strives every day to celebrate and support black lives.  We reaffirm that Black Lives Matter and rededicate ourselves to ending racism in this city and this country.

We hope all New Yorkers will join us in helping to make this a city that truly uplifts all of its residents. This is why we do what we do.  As heartbroken as we are, now is the time to double down on our efforts to create a fair and just society.