We made a public statement about events in the past week on our recent Facebook Live show, but we want to share that message more broadly with our community. We at Hope Communities are devastated about the death of George Floyd, and the many other incidents of racism and “above-the-law” activities that have been perpetrated in our community and across the nation. This has been happening for some time, but the flurry of violence and blatant racism (George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Christian Cooper and Breonna Taylor and more) seems to demonstrate an increase in severity and frequency of these attacks. It is a travesty, and beyond sad, that people of color have had to endure these acts of violence, indignities and continuous micro-aggressions. We are saddened individually, and also as an organization, that regardless of what appears to be heightened recognition and appreciation for the inappropriateness of these acts, they continue.
We are sad and frustrated as we watch members of the communities we serve disproportionately impacted by the effects of COVID-19 – from higher infection rates to the economic impacts these communities will face for years to come. Hope stands with our colleagues of color, supporters, partners, clients, and beneficiaries. We stand against these dehumanizing acts of violence and discrimination. During the Facebook post I referenced, we also encouraged people to take action to advocate for issues that they care about. We emphasized that every voice matters and decision-makers need to understand what we believe in and what we expect – from them and in our communities.
Advocating for fair treatment, equitable opportunity and justice for all is important. We appreciate and support peaceful protest to demonstrate that commitment as one tool to change the gross injustices we have seen.
This commitment to social justice and equitable opportunity is not new to Hope Communities. Founded in Five Points 40 years ago, it has always been our profound belief that everyone should have a safe place to call home and the resources they need to thrive. Like many organizations working to increase access for communities who have been underserved for generations, we are hoping the recent events are educating and empowering the general public and are a stimulus for real, sustainable change. We know it won’t happen overnight, but we are only renewed in our commitment to take steps every day to fulfill our vision of building an equitable, inclusive and just community.
It is long past the time for change. There is no place for racism and hate in our country, and there will be no justice until we stand together and demand it for everyone. Wednesday, I quoted Helen Keller in our Facebook live event and it highlights an important perspective for all of us now.
“Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each other’s welfare, social justice can never be attained.”
While our whole team has been intricately involved in creating a culture of inclusion and equity, and there have been many discussions about recent events across the organization. I am happy to be a point person for any questions you might have about how recent events relate to the communities and clients we serve or the organization itself.
In solidarity ~
President & CEO