As we witness the events unfolding in the United States, we share in the overwhelming grief and express our condemnation of the structural racism and systemic inequality that has for too long been suffered by the Black community in America. For more than a century, the Near East Foundation has stood in solidarity with those who are marginalized, oppressed, and underrepresented around the world.
It is not possible to see the crises and marginalization that we address in the Middle East, Africa, and the Caucasus as separate from what is happening in the United States. They have at their roots the same insidious forces, which require persistent community action, shared dialogue, and mutual understanding to overcome.
Along with our heavy hearts, we carry with us a deep and abiding belief in the power of grassroots change. Our work is and has always been community-led, and we look now to those in our communities who are leading the fight against racial injustice and toward a more equitable and safer world for all.
We firmly believe that all people have the right to assemble and use their collective voice to influence policies, public decisions, and systems that affect their well-being and to achieve meaningful social change. And we know that the burden of creating change cannot rest solely with the oppressed. We all have a role to play in challenging and correcting longstanding inequality.
At NEF, we are committed to holding ourselves accountable to the values we profess. We are listening, we are learning, and we will continue to stand with disenfranchised communities worldwide and with communities of color in the United States for justice and against hate and inequity in all of its forms.