The Base 11 team, and our extended family, are heartbroken and outraged by the tragic, dehumanizing death of George Floyd. The horrific video brings to light that the knee of injustice is still pressing down on the necks of African Americans and cutting off their air and their ability to breath.
- The air of education.
- The air of economic empowerment.
- The air of personal dignity and hope for the future.
To be clear, we at Base 11 unequivocally denounce all forms of racism against any group of people.
I know firsthand the value of diversity and inclusion. My grandparents were among the first to enter into a legal interracial marriage in Berkeley, California, in the early 1940s after being denied the ability to marry for many years of their courtship.
My grandfather was a 6-foot-7 Irishman whose family moved from San Francisco to Oakland, California, after the 1906 earthquake. My grandmother was a fearless African American woman from Dennison, Texas who came to California to work in the Kaiser shipyards to help build battleships during World War II. I benefited personally from the diverse backgrounds and cultures that my grandparents were able to expose me to during the foundational years of my childhood.
My family is no stranger to the battle against police brutality, either. My teenage parents served on the front lines of the Black Panther Party in the late 1960s as the organization was founded for the specific purpose of stopping the police brutality that was pervasive in Oakland and many other major cities across the country. They also fought to remove other injustices experienced by the African American community including inadequate housing, jobs, and access to quality education.
Fifty years later, we find ourselves still dealing with many of the same issues and inequities. This is a core part of Base 11’s reason for being.
Since Base 11’s founding, we have been committed to removing the barriers that prevent African American students and young adults from being able to breathe economically, academically, and emotionally. From our work with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to our efforts with high school students in Philadelphia and Cleveland, we have always strived to prepare and position people of color to become leaders in Next Frontier industries.
Heartbroken yet determined, we will continue this work. Compelled by the recent tragic events to be even more bold and courageous in the size and prospective impact of what we will endeavor to make possible for young men and women who live in the wealthiest nation in the world, yet still cannot breathe.
— Landon Taylor, Chairman and CEO