The American Red Cross joins millions of Americans in feeling deep sadness about the senseless death of George Floyd in Minnesota and uncertainty about the state of civil unrest in this country. This is a moment—many decades in the making—for families across the United States to reflect on this sorrow, to question their assumptions, and to truly take care of one another in a collective spirit of humanitarianism.

Communities across the country are struggling with feelings of pain and anxiety – and our dedicated employees and volunteers are assuredly not immune to these emotions. As one Red Crosser shared last week, “Dealing with fears associated with being black, while dealing with fears associated with our personal health during a pandemic, is mentally draining, to say the least.”

The American Red Cross strongly and resoundingly rejects hate, racism, violence and bigotry of any kind. As part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, we are proud to stand by our seven Fundamental Principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality. These principles are at the very root of our mission to prevent and alleviate suffering. As Red Crossers, we reach out with compassion and empathy to those who’ve been targeted by hate, and we promote human dignity.

Now, more than ever, we need to care for one another and reaffirm our commitment to diversity by supporting one another. We need to listen deeply as people of color talk about their experiences. The Red Cross will continue to fulfill our mission during this difficult time for individuals and families. Red Crossers aren’t driven by ideology or politics. Our concern for humanity is what drives us and guides us.

Gail J. McGovern, President and CEO of the Red Cross