As an organization, BEST acknowledges the trauma and terror that racism has caused throughout the history of this country. We support the protests and calls to end systemic racism in our justice system and empower historically marginalized communities through equitable practices and community-centered policies. BEST mourns the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Kristina Beard, Eric Yeadon, Tony McDade, and the many other victims of systemic racism. We stand against violence and discrimination in all forms; we are committed to being an organization that fosters equity and accelerates change. Black Lives Matter.
In our work to prevent human trafficking, we continue to see the harms of racism, the legacies of slavery, and challenges within our criminal justice system. Many Black and Brown victims of human trafficking have reported a distrust of police and the criminal justice system. For too long, they have gone unseen, and many have been criminalized by the justice system, rather than receiving the protection and assistance they need.
BEST has been honored to work alongside survivors who bring their lived experiences forward to create change. BEST has also been privileged to work with individuals in the criminal justice system to shift tactics away from arresting Black and Brown victims and toward prosecuting their exploiters--who are disproportionately White. We have hope that change is possible. But there is still much more work to be done. We have failed to adequately amplify the voices of Black and Brown survivors and we have failed to ensure that the justice system protects and serves Black and Brown communities.
Therefore, BEST is committed to anti-racism and to accelerating change in concrete ways:
BEST commits to supporting minority-owned businesses.BEST commits to listening with humility and fighting for change. Because Black Lives Matter.