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Statement on Ferguson: Our nation must reject violence, strive toward racial equity, and embrace the common good in all

In light of the today’s grand jury decision in Ferguson, Missouri, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation extends its support and appreciation for the courageous people – young and old – that tirelessly devoted their efforts to peacefully supporting their communities, particularly during these last 107 days. 

These months have seen fear, sadness and frustration. We understand that emotions remain high and urge people to engage in peaceful civil activities and ensure that all lives are valued and spared. The issues at play remain critical and today’s decision requires us to work harder to build shared understanding about how we build an inclusive community that values and respects each of its members. 

Recent events and experiences call all of us to redouble efforts to address the realities that our children, young adults and families face each day. Far too many live, work and go to school in neighborhoods with prevalent violence, fear and mistrust. This is not unique to Ferguson; it’s reality in too much of America. 

Because of that, it is even more important that the Kellogg Foundation and others continue to tell a broader story about Ferguson. A story that when faced with hopelessness, anger and fear, young people banded together to peacefully raise awareness of the discrimination and bias, conscious and unconscious, they face in Ferguson and surrounding communities. With courage, these young people have told their own story, but to actually make progress we all must engage in the intentional work of building racial equity – rejecting racism and discrimination – and beginning a process of healing across America.

The Ferguson community, as well as communities across the nation, must continue to strive toward racial equity, rejecting racism and discrimination, and embracing the common good in all people. The future of our humanity is at stake.

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