Affirming Our Commitment to Equity
To our clients, staff, donors, volunteers, faith partners, and other supporters of Associated Ministries:
Since the recent surge of protests over the disregard for black lives, Associated Ministries has deliberated about what to say. We are saddened, we are outraged, and we acknowledge that what has happened is nothing new. For centuries our country, and even our own community, has prioritized the lives and wellbeing of white people over people of color and it is time that this dynamic be changed. As a nonprofit organization we have a long way to go ourselves and we acknowledge that our practice of working towards racial equity will never end.
For years we were one of many organizations that valued diversity and thought that having a mix of experiences and identities in the room was enough. It wasn’t until several brave staff spoke truth to power that we began our journey of cultural transformation towards becoming an anti-racist, equity-driven organization. It’s past time for all institutions to begin this journey – not because it’s good for business, not because they want to improve their public image, but because it’s the right thing to do. Dismantling white dominant culture benefits everyone. Michelle Obama said “It’s up to all of us – Black, white, everyone – no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting [racism] out.”
We commend organizations that have made the decision to take a stand, to be different and make a difference. From the powerful statement by Ben & Jerry’s: “We have to speak out. We have to stand together with the victims of murder, marginalization, and repression because of their skin color, and with those who seek justice through protests across our country. We have to say his name: George Floyd.” We have waited too long to affirm #Black Lives Matter.
(Preparation of this statement was facilitated by members of Associated Ministries’ Anti-Racist & Equity task force, who are leading the organization on its equity journey.)