We are at a pivotal moment in our lives, our country, and our world.

June 9, 2020

John v.H. Halsey

To our community:

Today, our hearts break for George Floyd and his family as he is laid to rest. But what he has awakened in us provides the catalyst for change and the promise of a country and world that celebrates diversity, respects all people, recognizes the fragility of Mother Earth, and commits itself to peace. We each have a stake in a better future – we must act on it starting today.

Although still apart due to COVID-19, I am confident that all of us at the Peconic Land Trust, as colleagues and human beings, were shocked and dismayed to witness the murder of George Floyd 15 days ago. Captured by 17-year-old Darnella Frazier on her cell phone camera, his would be just another name on the long list of casualties had she not been there.

While George Floyd has been laid to rest today, my eyes remain wide open to the systematic abuse of power and disproportionate application of force on our Black American friends and neighbors. The imperative today is to embrace the pain of this moment and join the refrain that Black Lives Matter. This is not at the expense of others whose lives also matter, but rather an acknowledgment of the longstanding injustice against our Black American community.

We are at a pivotal moment in our lives, our country, and our world. As an organization, the Peconic Land Trust must accept our responsibility to be relevant to everyone in our community. We must acknowledge that land is the foundation of power, and that access to land is critical to the health, safety, and prosperity of all people.

We must also recognize our strengths and weaknesses as an organization, and recommit ourselves to understand, and address, the inequities that exist around us. We must reflect our diversity, commit ourselves to equity, and be inclusive by better serving everyone in our community. Our actions must speak louder than our words.

We do this to honor George Floyd and his family, and all who have suffered from the scourge of racism.

John v.H. Halsey

Peconic Land Trust

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