A Note From the Executive Director
Yesterday Courtney shared a draft of today's Racial Equity Fast Five (REFF), and my initial response was the handy emoji 👍🏾.. As the day continued, the draft quickly turned into a "Fast 45" as a result of the latest display of police brutality in Kenosha, Wisconsin and the ripple effect across the nation as we continue to be inundated with the question: DO Black lives matter?? I looked at my team on a Zoom call and realized I was drained. And so was the team. You know me as HAND's Executive Director. Courtney is HAND's Membership Director. Eugene Kim is our Program Manager. But when you see us, the first thing you notice is that we are people of color. And we are deeply impacted by the hatred we see across our nation - from interactions with law enforcement to blaming our Asian-American neighbors for a global pandemic.

Throughout the day more and more content flashed across our screens, in our texts and in conversations with family and friends, reminding us not only of black pain, but also of black resilience, and black beauty. We include these items in REFF for a reason. This communication was an outgrowth of our Racial Equity Learning Series, and was launched in conjunction with the Racial Equity Resource Center when our members requested to continue going deeper on content while we planned for the next phase of the work. 

Although seeing these incidents across our television and smartphones have become normalized, let us not allow ourselves to be numb. We urge you to visit our Racial Equity Resource Center and make sure you’re having these conversations with your community members, with your faith groups, at your dinner table and during your staff meetings.

The HAND team is recharged and excited to continue our partnership with The Democracy Collaborative (TDC) to roll out the next phase of learning with our members. I am grateful for the opportunity to bring this work to HAND, but as noted earlier, we are first and foremost a BIPOC staff. Even in the heaviness of today's issue, I find joy in the video below of two cute toddlers, because THAT is the good stuff in life. That is the reminder of who we do this for. A reminder that maybe their lives and their reality will be different. This is why, HAND members, REFF is a Fast
45 today.
Heather Raspberry
Executive Director, HAND
Courtney Battle
Membership Director, HAND
Eugene Kim
Program Manager, HAND
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