Like many across the country, and around the world, all employees of Wexford Science & Technology are saddened by yet another senseless death of a non-violent Black man while in police custody. The fact that protests have taken place in all fifty states and many of our cities, shows the frustration, anger, and fear that so many feel. Despite attempts at improvement, the stark reality on display this week is that the long standing issue of systemic racism continues to hold many back from fully participating in our economy, has exacerbated wealth and resource disparities in Black and Brown communities, and is unacceptably costing more and more Black lives.
We stand in solidarity with those who are working toward racial equity and are committed to playing our part in dismantling the broken system and replacing it with meaningful and sustainable opportunities for all. And while we believe expressing our support is critical, we also want to find ways, in conjunction with the communities we serve, to do something about it.
In our Knowledge Communities all over the United States, innovators are working on solutions that will improve the human condition. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, significant effort has shifted toward developing a vaccine, improving testing and treatment, and manufacturing personal protective equipment. Likewise, we believe ensuring opportunity for all is a shared responsibility and want to apply the collective talent and knowledge that exists in each of our Knowledge Communities to creating a pathway toward greater racial equity. Social justice innovation is critical innovation. Social justice and racial equity are at the foundation of improving the human condition.
At Wexford Science & Technology, we have identified initial steps we can take as a company:
Leverage our platform to promote and drive change in the area of inclusive economic development. We will work with our educational partners around the country to improve workforce training and STEM education programs in our communities to increase inclusion, accessibility and openness. Between twenty-five and forty percent of jobs within innovation districts can be done with skills that do not require a formal four-year degree. By partnering with local community colleges, university continuing and professional education offices, and the local school systems we can increase participation in these programs and create better pathways to active employment within the innovation sector.
We will regularly facilitate Racial Equity & Social Justice sessions across our network of Knowledge Communities in an effort to engage entrepreneurs, researchers, civic leaders, corporate innovators, university staff/faculty, and the community in clarifying roles, responsibilities, and actions we can take as a collective body (a community of communities) to create a more equitable and just environment.
As a company, Wexford staff and leadership will participate in Anti-Bias Anti-Racism (ABAR) training and make it an annual part of our development. We must identify the implicit bias that exists within our own organization so that we may be an example to others and do the work for lasting culture change.
Wexford will commit to making a broader effort to identify and solicit minority and women owned enterprises for goods and services across our entire platform…from construction to property management to corporate services.
We are committed to making progress and know that economic mobility and shared prosperity is one pathway toward a more equitable and just community. More than innovation playing a role in improving the human condition, we believe innovation can lead to healing.