The desire to feel safe is universal and belongs to no one race or creed. But we know that many people in our country, state and county are not equally safe, even from those who are entrusted to serve and protect. We are seeing too many instances that show black people to be unsafe while jogging or birdwatching or carrying out ordinary, everyday acts of life.

As a country, we are at an inflection point as we bear repeated witness to the pain and suffering of black Americans and their unequal treatment under the law. It’s imperative that we address racism, economic disenfranchisement, and social and health inequalities. We stand in solidarity with those working collectively for a just and equitable society. Our survival in the face of climate change and other threats such as the COVID-19 pandemic demand that we do.

Helping everyone feel safe and welcome is a part of our mission at the Forest Preserve Foundation. We do that by supporting programs that allow everyone to experience the outdoors, specifically the Forest Preserves of Cook County, as freely as possible. Our work is grounded in racial equity and access for all.

People often ask what they can do in times like these. There are many options. Making sure you’re registered and will vote in all elections is one option. Another is completing your Census form. These are not small actions to take. They can make a difference in ensuring you get the representation and resources your community deserves. And that we can all breathe as free and equal members of Cook County’s diverse communities.

In solidarity,

The Forest Preserve Foundation staff

Shelley A. Davis, President

Sam Davis, Development Associate

Cassandra West, Communications Manager

Spread the word around