Dear CARITAS Family:
Many of us have witnessed or participated in the events of the past weeks. We have taken to the streets to protest police brutality against people of color, to proclaim that George Floyd and others who came before him matter — Black Lives indeed Matter — and to demand changes to the systemic racism that our brothers and sisters live with every day and that have existed and persisted since the founding of our country. It’s not enough to just speak out; we must be part of the solution.
CARITAS will continue to be a place of healing and hope. Our mission is to restore dignity to those who have been denied it. Recent crises have hardened this commitment. In the wake of COVID-19 and this movement against racism, we have merely dug our heels into the soil. Black Americans are disproportionately affected by homelessness, addiction, economic barriers and have died at a much higher rate from the COVID-19 pandemic. Our mission remains urgent and vital.
We are diverse in race, culture, and background, from our Board of Directors to our front line staff. For those of us who are white, it means confronting our own privilege, then doing what we can to reject that privilege while working toward equity in our community and the world. We are having difficult conversations among our staff and taking time for self reflection and care. We are listening to our program participants. Many are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color). Participants who are not BIPOC are listening, too. One day at a time, we will continue listening and creating plans to do more as an agency with our staff, volunteers, and community partners.
We are a community and family that stands together for a brighter, more inclusive community for us all. One day at a time.
With love and hope,
Karen J. Stanley
President & CEO of CARITAS