The widespread public reaction to the killing of George Floyd and to other cases of police brutality has been a stark reminder of ongoing racial injustice, clear in the voices and faces of protesters across the United States and the world.
But there is reason for hope. A democracy relies on the authority of collective voices. Recent public-opinion polls show historic agreement among the American public that racial and ethnic discrimination is a problem in the United States. People are calling more loudly than ever for transparency and accountability, two key ingredients of a vibrant participatory democracy. And people are more invested in their urban governance and more interested in the policies cities employ to manage their well-being.
Throughout our programming at the NYU Marron Institute, we work to make urban living more equitable and inclusive. We partner with urban managers, practitioners, and residents on a spectrum of policy issues that affect the prosperity of Black lives, including criminal justice, education, air quality, and land use. We will commit to being better listeners in the communities where we work and to having difficult conversations among ourselves and with our partners. We will better define our values as an institute, and the principles that guide our work. And we will redouble our efforts to help make communities and cities places for opportunity that are safe, healthy, and, above all, a better reflection of the values of a democracy that treats its public with respect.