Ending Institutional Racism and Promoting Social Justice: A Statement from Virginia Knox, President of MDRC


From a communication to MDRC staff on Sunday, May 31, 2020

Like all of you, I have been disturbed and saddened by the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor and by the incident with Christian Cooper in Central Park, which are only the latest examples of the racism and violence that Black Americans have been confronting for centuries.

Layering these recent events on top of the coronavirus, its disproportionate effects on communities of color, and longstanding inequities, I share your anger, despair, and exhaustion. I also realize that we are each experiencing the current convulsions differently depending on our own life experiences. My heart is with our colleagues who experience the racism of our society and its institutions every day. Those of us who benefit from white privilege have considerable work to do to change the current situation.

As an organization, MDRC has a responsibility to our employees and to the communities we serve to continue to reflect inward about our role in the fight against institutional racism and for social justice. Fulfilling our mission to shed light on policies and practices that can improve the well-being of individuals and families demands no less from us.