I came of age in the 1960s, a tumultuous decade of both strife and hope. As a member of the post-World War II Baby Boomer generation, I and others of my generation believed we would remake the world into a better more just place. Peace, civil rights, and equal rights for African Americans and women were our causes. Martin Luther King was one of our beacons showing us the way. King’s assassination and the subsequent riots, while shocking, ultimately did not diminish our faith in our vision. 
I am now an old white male. In the 50 plus years since King’s assassination, much has changed. I believed much of this change was progress of the kind held out by those visions formulated in the 60s. We avoided nuclear war and the wars fought in this era were more contained and regional in nature and not world-wide like those in the first half of the 20 th century. Women’s roles in society were remade and their career opportunities were no longer limited to positions as teachers or nurses as was the case for my grandmothers. I also believed I saw significant progress in race relations. I was privileged to attend an elite liberal arts college in the Northeast where I met many bright and capable African Americans. I saw these fellow classmates move on to highly successful careers as doctors, lawyers, and educators. Over my 25 years working at major banks in the City of Boston, career opportunities opened in these institutions for women and people of color that were not there when I started. This felt like progress.
As I left the world of banking, a new charismatic leader emerged on the national political scene. He offered audacity and hope, and he was embraced by the American public. Surely this was a realization of our 1960s vision. Barack Obama’s election as President held the hope of a post-racial society – the realization of Dr. King’s vision was surely at hand. I started my affiliation with Trinity Boston Connects in 2013 hoping to do my part. The impact of the organization on the youth of color it serves was apparent to me. I learned much about the challenges of overcoming structural racism, but we were certainly on a path forward. 
Then on May 25 th , George Floyd was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer. Viewing the video tape produced a radical shift in my perspective. I am unable to comprehend the 8 minutes and 46 seconds captured on video for all the world to see. Before George Floyd, however, there was Breonna Taylor, before her there was Ahmaud Arbery – and before him countless other African Americans and other people of color brutalized and killed within a racist system that dehumanizes them. And now Rayshard Brooks as well.  My Black colleagues were enraged, but not surprised. I was stunned by the brutality and inhumanity of these killings. No doubt all the lynchings of 100 years ago that I had read about were also equally brutal, equally inhuman. This is not new.
The impact of this video is profound. I see clearly that I have been living in a bubble that allowed me not to see many of the fundamental problems in our society. My vision of progress has been revealed as an illusion. The thinness of that 1960s vision is apparent. 

Yet, I am not without hope. The spontaneous protests across the country and the world are generating incredible momentum for positive change with an intensity I have not seen in the last 50 years. A great opportunity is at hand. Now as Chairman of the Board of Directors at Trinity Boston Connects, I endeavor to use my voice in concert with a team of highly capable people committed to dismantling systemic racism and offering healing from the traumatic impact of that system. Through them and my own individual learning inspired by my work with Trinity, I now see the myriad ways structural racism is still deeply entrenched in our society. Equally important, if not more so, I more deeply understand the role I – and people in my generation - need to play in both my personal life and professional support of TBC’s efforts to dismantle these systems of oppression. Rather than a defeat, our collective response to this moment in history can yet become a continuation of the promise of the 60s. 
We Baby Boomers can still contribute to the next generation's efforts to make the world a better and more just place. The path towards racial equality is murky, fraught with fits and starts. However I know, with a clarity that life experience can often bring, that the work of TBC is the path towards justice; it is the hope for the future. Please stand with me in support of Trinity Boston Connects’ important work. 
I invite you to join me on this journey and learn more about TBC's work here , and consider a donation below.