This week has taken an already traumatized and fragile world to the brink of despair. The heartache and outrage stemming from the senseless loss of lives at the hands of police because of the color of one’s skin is overwhelming. The emotions expressed so eloquently by so many convey the deep seated pain, fear, frustration, and resolve to be a more just nation far better than anything I am able to express.
Racism, sadly, is neither new nor limited to the justice system.
It is ingrained in all aspects of our lives, overt and nuanced. Ending racism is all of our responsibility. We need to talk, plan, and act towards the shared goals of equality and dignity.
Our social and economic systems – not only the justice system – are broken. Despite the world class health care that so many of us benefit from in Massachusetts, this pandemic has exposed the impact of racism and discrimination on the health of poor minorities in our community. While we are saddened by the disproportionate impact COVID-19 is taking on the homeless and desperately poor, we can’t claim to be shocked – not when we see the pervasive health issues and lack of resources for medical care, housing, food, transportation, and personal safety accessible to our clients.
We hear their stories far too often – housing discrimination, verbal and physical abuse, dismissive (at best) bureaucrats, and employers who are unwilling to take a stand on their behalf. Let us hope that the outrage we are seeing across the country is met with honest self-reflection and action to begin to address the inequalities and bring about societal change that is long overdue. For our part, we will continue to raise awareness and work to improve the lives of the women who face obstacles that many of us can’t imagine. We will add our voices to the cacophony of those shouting ‘enough’.
Now more than ever, I marvel at the way our clients are able to find strength, courage, and hope in the face of so much adversity. I draw on this strength every day. I am sharing some of my favorite photo memories below in the hope that you will take a moment to reflect on their enduring heroism as we all pledge to do more, to do better, to be better.
With continued wishes for your health and safety, and gratitude for your support. Together, we can make a difference.
Very truly yours,