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June 4, 2020

Barclay Damon Statement on George Floyd Protests and Need for Systemic Change

Barclay Damon stands with the members of our communities, profession, and nation who are outraged and saddened by the killing of George Floyd and other instances of attacks on unarmed people of color. As a firm and individuals, we condemn this horrific racism and persecution.

“Even in the midst of an incredibly trying time, this past week has been particularly difficult. There is increasing anxiety and a sinking, even desperate, feeling for many about the state of our communities and beyond,” John Langan, managing partner, said. “These are the times when it is most important to be available for each other and be mindful about how these events and the long, troubling history that preceded them impact others. Black lives matter, period, and we do not see how this statement can be the subject of challenge, condition, or any meaningful debate.”

“Many of us are struggling to make sense of the violence against George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others,” Sheila Gaddis, the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee chair, said. “Compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s something unique in this moment. I hope this current desire for action is sustained after the protests end. I encourage understanding of systemic racism, how it permeates our society, and what is required for change.”

Gaddis continued, “I think we can all agree that sometimes political protest manifests in violence, in part, because of deeply felt frustration over long-unaddressed, justified grievances. I hope all of us try to better understand the genuine, legitimate reasons for the peaceful protesting going on throughout the country.”

Recent events cut deep in our communities and lives. We are well served to support each other, to learn how to be stronger advocates and allies, and to embrace a shared sense of humanity, respect, and empathy.

“Let’s not be afraid to have ongoing conversations regarding these important issues,” Langan said, “and always search for ways to make change. Striving to be better is part of our DNA at Barclay Damon.”

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