June 9, 2020
RSP is troubled and heartbroken by the violence against people of color, including police brutality, that continues to plague our country despite the great strides our nation has made to advance justice and civil rights. The recent senseless killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless other African Americans and other people of color, as well as other targeted minorities, are an outrage. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of those individuals. RSP condemns these unjust killings and other abuses, and we stand in solidarity with all those seeking to end systemic racism not only in our criminal justice system but across the United States, including the legal profession and business world. The effects of these events have been devastating and we cannot continue to ignore them.
Thurgood Marshall observed “I wish I could say that racism and prejudice were only distant memories. We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust. We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.”
The days and nights of lawful social protest are necessary and important to communicating to our leaders and the community that change must come. We denounce attempts by any organizations and groups to silence the voices of those who are lawfully protesting racism and social . Yet the incidents of violence and unrest have left many feeling angry, uneasy, and even hopeless. As a legal services provider, we do not condone lawlessness and we are saddened to see the damage done in our communities. As guardians of the law, we have a unique position from which to offer guidance and leadership, and we are prepared to do so.
Fighting racism and other social injustice, healing the divides, and restoring trust in our communities requires more than a statement; it requires the continuous commitment to breaking down the walls of inequality in opportunities, compensation, and advancement for minorities. Each commitment is hard work but we are willing to challenge ourselves and to do better.
RSP seeks to create an equitable and inclusive society, including helping educate our business and local communities on racial and social bias and creating an environment that fosters inclusion and diversity. We stand ready to support our community in these efforts. We do not assume we know the concerns of those around us – we will listen and we will strive for empathy, safety, and respect for all. We are also prepared and committed to listening to communities of color and other targeted communities and to learning how we can become a better ally in the fight for social and racial equality and justice.
We all must do our part. Our firm fights for justice through our pro bono efforts with organizations such as the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services. We also support Voices for Illinois Children, Back to School Illinois, and the Greater Chicago Food Depository through donations and volunteer efforts. All of these organizations have an active role in rebuilding and transforming communities of color to create a society that ensures safety, health and prosperity for all people. We are encouraging our employees to speak up and be heard in organizations helping communities of color and other targeted communities, and to support the change needed to bring social injustice and racism in our country to an end.
RSP is unified with communities of color nationwide at this painful time advocating for peaceful discussions that educate and build the bonds of great communities for all.