A Letter from our CEO about George Floyd

June 1, 2020

Dear FareStart Community,

The tragic murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery – along with the many other African Americans who have lost their lives due to police action – have laid bare the gaping wounds of racial injustice that have existed in our community and our country for generations. Our fellow citizens are hurting and the Black community is shouldering the pain and grief of hundreds of years of systemic racism and racialized violence.

Like the rest of America, we at FareStart are grieving and outraged by the systemic injustice and violence inflicted upon members of the Black community and other ethnic communities. At FareStart we believe that every individual deserves the opportunity to thrive in an equitable and just world. Our job training programs serve youth and adults who have some of the hardest barriers to employment – barriers like homelessness and incarceration, which disproportionately impact communities of color. FareStart recognizes its responsibility to be a force of change in shifting this paradigm through the programs we provide students and the people we employ who, themselves, have been victims of racial violence and systemic injustice. We also have a role in working with our partners to advocate against racism and disparities in the hospitality industry and the larger community.

As I continue my own journey of understanding, I recognize that now is the time to amplify Black and Brown voices. It is an opportunity as CEO of FareStart to join other leaders in doing more listening than talking, to recognize the pain and anger that many in our community feel, and to advance anti-racist values within FareStart and in my own home.

As our commitment to advancing racial equity within our organization, FareStart recently welcomed Marcus Bryant as our Chief People Officer. Marcus brings a deep level of understanding and expertise through his lived experience, his tenure as chief diversity officer at Charleston Southern University and leading his own firm in addressing inequities across various industries. FareStart is fortunate to draw on his leadership to engage in and advance racial equity for our students, staff and communities.

Now, more than ever, we at FareStart remain steadfast in our commitment to be an anti-racist organization and to live by our values of inclusion, respect and accountability. Words cannot begin to express the sorrow I feel for those who are hurting so deeply. And even though I will never be able to fully understand their pain, I know we can do better and we must do better so that every individual does have the opportunity to thrive in an equitable and just world.

With gratitude,

Angela Dunleavy-Stowell
FareStart CEO