A Time for Reflection and Change

During this profound moment when we are seeing widespread community activism and support to protect and defend diversity, equity and inclusion, we acknowledge the injustices that have been experienced by so many in our country for far too long.

Today, June 19, marks Juneteenth in observance of the 1865 emancipation of the last remaining enslaved Black Americans in the U.S. The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and so many others have brought to the forefront a longstanding history of systemic racism and oppression that continues to plague our society. These are issues of basic human rights and liberties – and for some, an issue of life and death. We hear you. We stand with you. And we grieve with you.

This week also marked two monumental Supreme Court decisions defending the rights and liberties of people in our country. The Supreme Court held in a 6-3 ruling Monday that our LGBTQ colleagues are protected by federal law against workplace discrimination, expanding sex-based discrimination to include sexual orientation and transgender status. On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled to block a plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, commonly known as DACA, allowing hundreds of thousands of “Dreamers” to avoid deportation and remain in the United States.

These landmark rulings constitute real progress, but there is still much work to be done. We see time and time again the disenfranchisement of communities of color. Even as our nation continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, we’re witnessing our Black, Latinx, Native American and other communities being disproportionately affected by the crisis. We can do better.

This is a time for reflection and a commitment to change. We recognize that it takes all of us doing our individual parts to collectively make a real, sustainable impact. Each of us has room to grow and it’s vital that we engage – as individuals and as an organization – in honest self-reflection and learn more about diverse experiences in America. It takes more than compassion. It takes intentional, ongoing effort and action.

To fully realize our vision of a positive future for every child, Southwest Human Development will continue to do its part by advancing social justice as a core component of our work. People and places are made better by diversity, equity and inclusion.