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Southern California Public Radio Statement on Black Lives Matter

The intersections of the 5, 10, 60, and 101 freeways near downtown Los Angeles during what is usually rush hour. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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Our View

For nearly a month, our country has been engulfed in conversations about racism. Southern California Public Radio (SCPR) is no different. Our discussions have been painful at times, as we reflect on how we treat one another, and how biases play out in our coverage.

Our longstanding mission has been to strengthen the civic and cultural bonds that unite Southern California's diverse communities. We do this by providing high-quality news and information and forming audience relationships that foster understanding, trust, loyalty and goodwill. We have taken strides to be diverse, equitable and inclusive and we recognize we can and should do more.

As an organization we condemn systemic racism -- and racism of any kind -- and remain committed to reflecting the diverse communities we serve. With that in mind, we say the statement "Black Lives Matter" reinforces our commitment.

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The context is this: Black Lives Matter is not a statement that only Black lives matter, or that Black lives somehow matter more than any other lives. Rather, it is a counter-narrative to the historical notion in this country that Black lives somehow matter less, or not at all. The historical context of slavery, Jim Crow, and discrimination in hiring, housing and policing are proof points that Black lives have mattered less.

This isn't our last word on issues of race. We acknowledge that the issue of race, diversity and inclusion is complex and multidimensional with no simple solution. We exist in a county where persons of color make up the majority of our population and where many are no strangers to racism.

We know that we must do better and we know that actions are more important than statements. Our newsroom is mission-based and issues of equity and justice run throughout our individual reporters' beats. Our journalists will be actively working together to address the urgent need to understand how we get to a more equitable society, including renewing and better coordinating those efforts.

As our conversation unfolds, we will continue to be transparent about the steps we're taking to combat racism at SCPR, home to LAist, LAist Studios, and KPCC. We will assess and address how systemic racism exists in our own organization and products in a formal process that is already underway.

As always, we invite you to join us in this effort. Here is how:

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Herb ScannellPresident and CEO
Southern California Public Radio