Center for Ethical & Sustainable Business Statement in Support of Black Lives Matter

2020 has exposed the deepest inequities in our society.

We protest and mourn the violence at the core of racist systems that perpetuate a status quo.

…George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery…

So many Black lives.

We offer our deepest condolences to the families and communities grieving from all these losses. Our SFSU community has shared poignant statements of solidarity and action.

SFSU President Mahoney stated on June 17th 2020: "Black Lives Matter at SF State.” We agree. The only way forward is to confront systemic racism when addressing social inequity and environmental injustice.

The CESB focuses on three intersecting issues: Social Justice, The Natural Environment and Innovation. One of the Center’s signature events, Business Ethics Week, illustrates a humbling truth. That at the heart of this intersection lie inequities that are widespread and systemic – with session examples from supply chains, artificial intelligence, finance and the environment. At the heart of this intersection also lies the possibility of hope: when capitalism is re-imagined, when innovation is inclusive, when ecosystems are regenerative.

The 4th of July celebrates the U.S. Declaration of Independence, which held “these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness". Embedded within this document of independence are deep racial and gender exclusions which have stayed persistent and pernicious. The 4th holiday is one with mixed emotions and hesitancy for the Black community. As Frederick Douglass asked: “What to the enslaved is the 4th of July?”

This review of African American inequality in the U.S., confronts us with a deeply disturbing history, and acts as a reminder of ongoing systemic racism. African Americans continue to face persistent discrimination and inequalities in almost all aspects of their lives: the criminal legal system, voting, education, healthcare, financing,home ownership, media representation. Economic injustices are rife. The pandemic has exacerbated health and financial risks for essential workers across all sectors – especially those in healthcare, food, farming, and product delivery.

Covid-19 is harming Black bodies around the country at rates higher than any other racial group.

We extend our hand in solidarity -- with humility and intention -- to learn, reflect, and take action for change.

Learn from the conversation. Reflect on progress at SFSU and beyond. Act. Donate. Get Involved. Support Directly.

Policing and Black lives.

Learn. Reflect. Act.

Empowering Black leadership.

Learn. Reflect. Act.

Moving away from Mass Incarceration.

Learn. Reflect. Act.

Coronavirus and Racial Disparities.

Learn. Reflect. Act.

Artificial Intelligence and Black lives.

Learn. Reflect. Act.

Climate Change as a Human Rights Issue.

Learn. Reflect. Act.

Academia and Racial (In)equity.

Learn. Reflect. Act.

We have a long way to go. We move forward together. Black Lives Matter.

Geoff Desa, Ph.D. and Colin Johnson, Ph.D.
Co-Directors, Center for Ethical and Sustainable Business

We welcome your thoughts. Please offer comments/suggestions for further resources or actions to address structural racism here.