Statement by The Nash Jazz Club In Response to the Murder of George Floyd
The Nash, its directors, employees, and volunteers condemn the racial hatred and police brutality that resulted in the senseless murder of George Floyd, and we grieve for his family and friends who loved him. We acknowledge that this is just a recent example of an already existing pattern of police brutality against Black men and people of color. We are supportive of the many peaceful protests demanding change that are taking place in Arizona and throughout our nation, as this a First Amendment right under the Constitution of the United States of America. We are concerned about the ongoing hollowness of our national pledge of "liberty and justice for all." We, the people, must do more than better. We must be EQUAL.
As the only dedicated jazz club and education center in Arizona, The Nash was founded with a fervent commitment to building a community whose diversity, opportunities, programming and practices reflect the non-discrimination objectives that define the Civil Rights movement. In fact, The Nash was founded by Herb Ely, a recognized leader in Arizona's civil rights history who wrote the major civil rights laws for the state of Arizona and continues to actively serve on our board of directors. In addition, The Nash is named in honor of a favorite son of the Phoenix community, Lewis Nash, who arose from the Phoenix African American community to the heights of international fame as a jazz musician, educator, and honored citizen. (Please read Lewis's personal message in conjunction with this statement).
Jazz was created and brought to world-wide recognition through African American inspiration and innovation. The Nash remains committed to the celebration of this treasured legacy through performances and education programs. With this in mind, we are rededicating The Nash to our ongoing mission of more meaningful engagement with all members of the community informed by our diversity task force; collaborations with Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, ASU Center for the Study of Race and Democracy and other African American community-focused partners; and new forums for outreach and listening directly to the African American community.
When you support The Nash, a non-profit organization, you are committing to the perpetuation of an art form that has a long history of promoting equity, inclusion, acceptance, intelligence and excellence as well as entertainment. We look forward to creating new possibilities and opportunities to engage, uplift and serve the community in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.
Please read the personal statement from Lewis Nash here