A statement regarding the murder of George Floyd

The murder of George Floyd was horrific and deeply tragic. Our hearts go out to his family and to people of color in our community and beyond who have suffered from the unjust edge of racism.

These events must be a catalyst for the SPCO to do more to be an inclusive and equitable organization. We must acknowledge that we have failed over time to create space in our organization for people of color on stage, on the administrative staff, on the Board and in our audience. In 2016 we made diversity, equity, and inclusion a strategic imperative for our organization and soon after, incorporated them into our mission. Since then we have made only modest progress in advancing this work. We must do better. It is not enough to be enraged about the outrageous treatment of Black people in our community. We must work harder to make our organization a place that is truly inclusive and truly equitable. We must find a way to reconcile our organizational beliefs with our behaviors, and most importantly, with the results.

In the weeks and months ahead, we will reflect on how we can do better as an organization. We alone cannot eliminate racism in our community, but we can and must change our corner of the world and contribute to the progress that is so desperately needed. Let us all recommit and double down on this important work.