Leonardo's statement of solidarity against injustice and racism. | Leonardo/ISAST

Leonardo's statement of solidarity against injustice and racism.

By Diana Ayton-Shenker

While struggling with profound grief and anger at the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other Black lives lost to systemic anti-black racism and a culture of white supremacy, Leonardo stands with their families, communities, and all who suffer under systems of oppression. I’ve been wrestling with what words could possibly help or add anything today. Truth is, soul-searching is complicated and personal and hard work. 

Amidst this excruciating sorrow and outrage, we also bear witness to an outpouring of solidarity, bravery, and redoubled resolve to end police brutality, reform criminal justice, and assert loudly and clearly that Black Lives Matter. 

As an international organization headquartered in the United States, Leonardo supports Black artists, scientists and colleagues. Join me in supporting social justice and community change organizations including those found here: 

I implore all of us to use our anguish as fuel for new action. As a first step, Leonardo commits to working with our core partners from MIT Press and Arizona State University, as well as our global network of art, science, technology practitioners, to do the work to dismantle discrimination and implicit bias at our own individual, interpersonal, and institutional levels. We know we have much work to do. In addressing the entrenched biases of our communities, we will be guided by antiracist sources and resources, some of which are listed above, and invite Leonardo friends to join and lead us.

The virulence of the Covid-19 virus and the turbulence of the times expose the fissures and fault lines of American society, highlighting the deeply embedded social ills and illness of inequity, injustice, and racism. Globally, the pandemic and economic volatility also expose the vulnerability of marginalized groups and materially impoverished people everywhere. Until these open wounds are treated, they will continue to fester, threatening civil societies in desperate need of healing and a regenerative future desperate to be born.

Diana Ayton-Shenker
CEO, Leonardo/ISAST

Read this post (13 August 2020) for an update to Leonardo's work toward this initiative.