Community Action was founded in spirit and partnership with many of the Civil Rights programs and movements of the 1960’s. At the time, we all hoped that over 50 years later, we wouldn’t be needed anymore. We hoped that our communities would be places where people – all people – flourish.
A few months ago, our community was thrown into a place of chaos as a result of a virus, which disproportionately affects some members of our communities over others. To help keep us all safe, each one of us took action to protect each other.
As we started to see the results of that collective action, our country fell into a different kind of chaos. Mr. George Floyd was murdered in front of us all. The justified outrage that followed his death, and others, is now also disproportionately affecting our communities.
The hate and anger in our Country today isn’t just something happening “over there” to “those people”. It is here. Our neighbors and friends have been victims of discrimination, racism, violence, and abuse. Right here. 50 years later, and we haven’t yet achieved that goal of being communities where all people flourish. Our communities still leave some behind.
Let us be very clear:
Racism is wrong.
Violence is wrong.
Being treated differently because of the color of your skin, the amount of money in your bank account, the person you love, the way you see yourself in this world, or any other reason, is wrong.
Being denied the opportunity to flourish because of where you were born, who your parents are, what you look like, or where you live, is wrong.
But just saying that it “is wrong” is not enough.
Hate and anger seems so systemic, so big, that it is hard to remember that we have the power to change it – we do. Not just with our words, but with our actions. Once again, we need to take collective action – hard action – to protect each other.
Every one of us can be the change we wish to see, by denouncing hate with love -- both because of and in spite of the injustices we know exist. It is easy to blame, hate, and be angry, but it is more enduring, sustainable, and meaningful to choose love.
Paraphrasing from a Community Action hero, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
The healing of our nation is tied to strengthening our connections as neighbors, families, co-workers, and communities. This is our home.
So today, tomorrow, and every day until we are no longer needed, just as we have for over 50 years, Tri County Community Action stands with every member of our community, sharing love.
This is our community, our home, we are each other’s neighbors, friends, coworkers, partners, and family members.
Let’s lead by example, let’s show the rest of the Country that we got it right. Let’s show them that we beat hate and anger with love and peace.
We’ll be the first. Tri County Community Action loves ALL of you.
Today, we reaffirm our Promise to you. “Community Action changes peoples’ lives, embodies the spirit of hope, improves communities, and makes America a better place to live. We care about the entire community and we are dedicated to helping people help themselves, and each other.”
Be well, in peace and love.
#BlackLivesMatter #BeCommunityAction #ChooseLove #BeatHateWithLove