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Silence is not merely complacency; it is an endorsement of racism

June 2, 2020


Silence is not merely complacency; it is an endorsement of racism.

As legal professionals singularly dedicated to justice, we will not turn a blind eye to the rampant, brutal, and systemic racism that divides our country.

We cannot go about business as usual while we witness people suffering harm and losing their lives over the color of their skin. We don’t have all the answers, but we can no longer remain on the sidelines.

We must not normalize the kind of police brutality that saw the public killing of George Floyd on the streets of Minneapolis or the killing of Breonna Taylor after police raided her home while she slept in Louisville. We must demand immediate justice for the tragic events that led to Ahmaud Arbery’s death at the hands of a former police investigator and his son. Despite the black community only making up 13% of the U.S. population, they are two-and-a-half times as likely as white Americans to be killed by police. 

As we witness the expression of pain, anger, and extreme sadness in cities across the country, we must acknowledge the decades of police brutality in black communities. For many years, black communities have asked the nation to pay attention to the ways in which their communities were disproportionately and unjustly policed. Those of us who do not experience that directly must now embrace the discomfort of seeing firsthand the racial injustice that led to the recent deaths of George, Breonna, Ahmaud, and countless others. Black lives matter and we must actively work to dismantle systemic racism.

Schwabe will continue to be a safe place to have these hard conversations, and we will explore every option to see how we can help our clients, communities, and employees overcome the systemic racism and prejudices that undeniably exist. We are not perfect and we don’t have all the answers. We will leverage our place of privilege to help those in our community to have not only a voice, but also access to the legal knowledge to protect their livelihoods—and their lives.

With leadership from our Pro Bono Committee, the firm will commit at least 50% of our pro bono legal hours through the end of 2021 to defend our vulnerable communities, help victims of racial injustice, and protect against future suppression of free speech. We stand with the protesters who took to the ‎streets to say, “I can’t breathe.”

Chief Executive Officer


Hear the statement: