President Jeffery Blackwell Addresses the Death of George Floyd
Blackwell calls for peace, diversity, inclusion, and equality for all
June 4, 2020, at the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund Policy Committee meeting, President Jeffery Blackwell made the following statement:
“Besides having to deal with COVID-19, we are now dealing with the aftermath of Mr. George Floyd’s senseless murder. I am deeply saddened first by the unnecessary loss of life of yet another African-American man and secondly, by the needless destruction of the livelihoods, dreams and goals of our fellow citizens. The citizens of Chicago that work hard every day to maintain family owned businesses in our neighborhoods. One way or another this touches us all. This is our city, these are our neighborhoods, these are our homes and businesses built with the heart, sweat, and tears of Chicagoans.
“As an African-American man, I grieve for George Floyd and his family. I grieve for the fact that this is not an unusual event as it has become common to undervalue the lives of minorities in this country.
“As a Chicago Public School teacher, I pray for all of our young people and students, past and present, that flood our streets for peaceful protest and the right to be heard. I know the hurt and the dismay that they feel. I know the fight for equality, for acceptance and for inclusion.
“As the President of this Fund, the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund, I am proud to be a part of a Fund that has historically fought for the rights of our members, for the encouragement of diversity and inclusion among our employees and vendors and for equal opportunity employment here at the Fund and with our vendors.
“We are a socially active Fund expressed through our divestment in firearm manufacturers, private prisons and immigration centers, companies that do business in the Sudan and our resolutions against Opioid manufacturers and producers. We are a leader in encouraging diversity and have 44% or $4.6 billion of our assets managed by minorities, women, and persons with disability-owned firms.
“CTPF is no stranger to standing up for what is right. We must all come together to do what is right, to encourage hope and togetherness instead of discord and divisiveness. It is right to drive toward a positive change in our city, in our schools, in our neighborhoods by continuing to encourage peace, diversity, inclusion, and equality for all.”