Dear Members of the NYSCF Community,
This has been a spring like none other. The world is in a place that was unimaginable at the outset of this year, and it has impacted the lives of every one of us.
As if the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic were not enough, we now face horrific acts of violence, with the senseless killing of George Floyd most recently, and also of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and other Black people, which clearly shows that racism not only still exists, but is systemic in our society and will require sustained effort and leadership to overcome.
We saw as the coronavirus played out that it was having a disproportionate impact on the health and economic status of communities of color. Now, acts of violence further underscore the disparities that continue to exist in our nation—disparities that offend our sense of what this country is.
I am so saddened and angered by these murders and it pains me greatly to know that members of our staff and community regularly deal with various forms of discrimination. Our mission at The New York Stem Cell Foundation is to improve human life, and we do not believe that our responsibility to do so is limited to the important work we do in our laboratory. We also improve human lives by the way we live our own lives, and the way we operate as an organization. At NYSCF we are committed to the values of inclusion and equality in everything we do and we live those values. We want to make sure we support efforts to celebrate diversity and that we continue to strive for more inclusion.
As many of us remain separated physically, we must support one another and stay safe during these difficult times. This is a moment of great crisis and will challenge us in many ways.
It seems now as if we are reliving elements of 1918, another year of awful pandemic, and 1968, a year of great social upheaval and polarization—a truly terrible combination. I lived through 1968 and remember it vividly; I had hoped our country would never see such a difficult year again. But as I see the activism that is visible across our country today, I am full of hope. I do think that this could be the start of real change. I stand with the Black community and with those that are peacefully protesting racism and injustice. All of these are different aspects of the broader mission to make human life better, which is why we work together at NYSCF.
Susan L. Solomon
Chief Executive Officer