We’ve heard a lot lately that we’re living in unprecedented times.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, “fierce urgency of now” has perhaps never been more important than it is today as a call to pay attention, to wake up, and to do something. It’s hard to believe that it was over a half-century ago when Dr. King spoke those words, calling for “vigorous and positive action” for the rights of people of color.
For many in our community, the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual anguish brought on by recent events is only the most current incarnation within a lifetime of experiencing oppression in various forms. As Dr. King also said, “the riot is the language of the unheard.” It is no longer just COVID-19 bringing the pain of inequities to our awareness. It is the ugly reality of systemic and structural racism broadcast live and giving us witness to specific acts of brutality against Black people, like the murder of George Floyd, that has made the injustices in our society and in our own backyard reach what many of us see as a turning point. We cannot go back. Voice and action will create progress toward social justice.
The Community Action Partnership of over 1,000 agencies across the country stands strong against racism. Its commitment to our human family, to the diversity of all of us, resonates here at our agency:
Currently, there is no cure to the health pandemic nor the social pandemic. While we are one human family, both conditions aim to separate us, both aim to weaken us, both aim to dehumanize us and threaten our well-being. During this time of heightened social anxiety, Community Action affirms that our healing as a county and as a nation is tied to strengthening our connections as neighbors, family members, co-workers, and communities. Our values assert, “We believe that all people should be treated with dignity and respect and recognize that structural race, gender, and other inequities remain barriers that must be addressed.” If we truly believe this, we must live it.
We commit ourselves to the health and well-being of everyone and to problem-solving systems and structures that will dismantle disparities and social determinants. We must move beyond social media into constructive anti-racist action that might even cause some of us to have to sacrifice comfort or advantage.
For all lives to matter, Black lives must matter. My hope is that the people of Marin County will together aspire to reflect an affluence of hope, of justice, and of peace—making this a perfect time to act and be one for all of us.
RACISM MUST END!
Read the full Community Action Partnership solidarity statement here.