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STATEMENT: Power of Kindness: On racism and violence in our nation from Values-in-Action

We are horrified at the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police or former law enforcement in Atlanta, Minneapolis and Louisville and for the countless African-Americans who are treated unfairly regularly and systemically by the law enforcement and criminal justice systems. We sympathize and empathize with our African-American brothers and sisters who suffer under racism and a still-present racial divide. We understand their frustration and anger. And yet, anger without positive channels such as love, kindness and dialogue go nowhere except to develop more frustration, anger and, ultimately, violence — a viscous cycle with no end.

We have seen both the best and worst of human nature during the pandemic and now in reaction to racism. Let’s resolve as communities to strive for the best — kindness, love, empathy, fairness and justice. Just Be Kind and Be Kind, Stick Together are not just our slogans. They are cultural and societal antidotes to discrimination, racism, unfairness, disrespect and hate. They represent actions and values that can change cultures, reform attitudes and turn adversity into mutuality, empathy and hope.

We don’t just need police reform in our country; we need culture reform. We need to turn nastiness into kindness, caring and respect. If we do so, we will become better people, better communities and a better country. Iconic singer Louis Armstrong once said that we can create a wonderful world by loving one another. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.

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