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What actions will you take?

Manchester Bidwell Corporation (MBC) is saddened and horrified at the murders of George Floyd, Ahmad Aubrey, and Breonna Taylor and the systemic racism that persists in our country that allows these tragedies to continue to occur. Throughout the entire history of MBC—for 52 years—we’ve been saddened and horrified by these appalling acts. Today, as we have done for 52 years, MBC supports the protestors shining a light on police brutality and an unjust society.

We learned that to fight institutional racism, we need justice like we need oxygen. To live, you must seek, demand, and fight for justice by taking action every day. The country has us on ventilators because it has made us believe inequity is natural. To breathe fully, it is not enough to say “act now.” It is time to ask yourself what actions you will take going forward.

It takes the efforts of individuals to overhaul a system founded on inequality. Are you registered to vote? Are you educated on the issues and the candidates? Have you helped register every one of your friends and family and make sure they vote?

Legislation is part of the solution, but laws alone will not end hate and despair. What will you do to affect a change? How active are you in the community? Can you spend your time mentoring youth? Don’t have the time? Regularly support the organizations like MCG Youth & Arts that help mentor and foster creativity in turn fueling enterprise. Given the chance to dream, anyone may have an opportunity to create something that will change the world.

To change the world, we need to demonstrate what it looks like when you treat people as assets and not liabilities. Know someone who needs help finding a stable career path because they were let down by the educational system? Bring them to an information session at Bidwell Training Center where anyone regardless of race or income can get no-cost training. Given the proper positive environment, any person can grow the seed of personal genius buried inside them.

To the business community, go beyond standing in solidarity and start acting in solidarity. How diverse is your employee population? Stop complaining about not having enough qualified candidates and partner with MBC to create programs that will produce the qualified employees you need. A social media post is not enough. It is beyond time to put some skin in the game.

Legislators, prioritize spending for filling schools and jobs instead of filling jails. You earn the respect of a community by giving it respect when you create positive environments that shape behavior. At our facilities you don’t see metal detectors, armed guards, or security cameras. You see art, music, light, water, and hope. We’ve never had a situation of theft or violence in the 33 years our building has been open because our community gives us the same respect we give them.

We need to stop fighting for justice only when innocent lives are lost. We have to fight for justice every day so we don’t lose anymore. Protesting is a powerful moment, but we need the same amount of people to create a powerful movement.