Businesses for Black Lives began in Richmond, VA as an idea and a statement. The idea was to bring concerned businesses together to respond to the killing of unarmed African Americans by law enforcement officials. The statement was meant to acknowledge the problem and to commit ourselves to working toward a solution. 

Our commitment is to build a coalition of businesses who will use their influence and resources to help bring an end to systemic racism in the U.S. criminal justice system. 

Read the Original Statement:

The epidemic of police brutality, particularly toward African Americans, must be brought to an end once and for all. This problem is not new, though we are now bearing witness to the disturbing reality that the African American community has been decrying for decades. We have not listened to their voice. And many of us who have seen and heard have remained silent for far too long. We acknowledge and lament our complicity. We will remain silent no more.

The killings we have publicly witnessed stem from systemic, institutionalized racism in our country’s criminal justice system at every level of government. We are calling upon the governments of our city, state, and country to take immediate action to reform the laws, policies, and policing tactics that disproportionately affect and oppress the African American community.

We stand and grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, whether at the hands of law enforcement or at the hands of those who attack law enforcement officers. We ask for justice for all.

We believe that it is our responsibility, as corporate citizens, to hold our governments accountable and to use our economic influence for the common good of our country. We ask that all other businesses locally and nationally join us in speaking out against this crisis.