We Believe That Black Lives Matter.
At Centre Foundation, it is our mission to inspire and facilitate a culture of giving that creates a vibrant community.
With the recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, and countless others, we cannot ignore that a vibrant community has been historically harder to achieve for some of our neighbors, not only in Centre County but in communities across the country.
Our nation is at a crossroads and we are all faced with the opportunity to challenge and defeat systemic racism, police brutality, and discriminatory practices nationwide.
For residents of Happy Valley, this is not an abstract problem. We lost a beloved community member and neighbor, Osaze Osagie when he was killed by police during a mental health check. We feel the loss of his life deeply.
Our mission and values are the guiding principles that enable us to create positive change and innovation in our community. Simply put, we wouldn’t be living up to our promises of integrity, impact, expertise, collaboration, and leadership if we didn’t stand in solidarity with the justifiable anger and grief echoing through our country.
We are taking this opportunity to condemn the acts of violence, hatred, and injustice that Black Americans and People of Color have experienced through the generations and continue to experience to this day. We see you. We hear you. And, we stand with those who are peacefully protesting.
We want our community to know that we are committed to positively shaping our shared future by following equitable organizational practices and by providing community leadership that affirms the worth of our black neighbors, coworkers, leadership, and community.
Here’s how we’re addressing this:
- We are reviewing and updating our internal policies and processes to ensure our operations are not unintentionally inequitable.
- We will strengthen our practices to ensure that the community we serve is fully represented on our board and committees.
- We are working to ensure that the organizations we fund are also following equitable policies in their operations, by including questions on equitable practices in our grant applications as well as offering training and support for organizations that are working to improve their internal practices.
- We commit to learning more about the influence of systemic racism and other inequities in our community. We will use our position as a community leader to help our community convene and be better educated about these issues.
We acknowledge that there’s work to do. We have not always been as aware of how systemic forms of oppression and discrimination may influence our work. We commit ourselves to stay on the journey with you and look forward to doing our part to shape an equitable Centre County.