Statement from the Staff and the Board of Directors
June 5, 2020
The staff and board of directors of the Arms Control Association collectively express our solidarity with protests against systemic racism and chronic police brutality in response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Trayvon Martin, and the relentless violence committed against Black people through the many centuries past. We believe that Black Lives Matter.
Good people must not remain silent in the presence of injustice and state-sanctioned violence.
We offer our support and solidarity to the families of the victims and to those who are working to achieve racial and social justice and equality in the United States and around the globe. More than this, we believe we must take proactive measures to eliminate the structures of inequality and injustice that permeate our society.
We recognize and affirm that the right to peacefully assemble, dissent, protest, and hold political leaders accountable is essential to a functioning democracy and progress toward a more just and peaceful world.
Our organization’s mission is focused above all on preventing the real threat of catastrophic nuclear war. This problem is inextricably linked to finding effective solutions to the daunting array of other human, environmental, and global security challenges, and to the struggle to build a more just, peaceful, and equitable future for all.
Writer and Civil Rights activist James Baldwin said in 1961 that “racial hatred and the atom bomb both threaten the destruction of [people] as created free by God.” And as Randall Forsberg, a former Arms Control Association board member, said on June 12, 1982, at the Central Park rally where one million people rallied for a Nuclear Weapons Freeze: “Until the arms race stops, until we have a world with peace and justice, we will not go home and be quiet. We will go home and organize.”
These realities and values still drive our work today and will in the future.
As we express our solidarity with those pursuing racial and social justice and equity, we know that our own organization can and must do more, and we commit to pursue–on our own and in concert with partner organizations and initiatives–actions that more effectively promote diversity and inclusion, especially for women and people of color, in our own activities and in our field.