In recent weeks, high profile cases of police violence against Black Americans and the resulting worldwide protest movement have once again brought the issue of structural anti-Black racism to the forefront of national consciousness.
We want to say without question or qualification that the Brick House Community Resource Center believes that all Black lives matter, and we stand in full solidarity with our Black program participants, team members, and local communities in the fight against police brutality and injustice.
At the Brick House our highest priority will always be to act in service to our community, providing our community members with safe, supportive environments in which to grow and achieve. We know that people of color — especially Black people — face hurdles of discrimination that cannot be removed through individual action and perseverance.
The Brick House recognizes the pain felt so acutely right now. We know it is not born of a single moment or incident, but rather the result of lives lived under a long shadow of systemic racism. Since our inception, we have been dedicated to eliminating the disparities amongst our community — if there weren’t disparities in our community, then the Brick House would NOT exist. This work cannot succeed through a “colorblind” approach. The reality is that the Brick House has always served people of color, and we cannot and will not be neutral in the fight against systemic racism.
We are an organization of action, and not just words. We at the Brick House will commit to actions around this issue by:
- Supporting and validating our communities of color, elevating their voices in conversations about their experiences and helping them become advocates for themselves and their communities.
- Promoting an organizational culture that respects and celebrates all identities in all of our interactions.
- Respecting the knowledge and lived experience our communities of color bring with them and including them as active partners in organizational decision-making on matters of program and policy.
- Discovering and disseminating knowledge to the field that highlights disparities, identifies best practices in the delivery of services to our community, and advocates for system-level reform in alignment with these learnings.
In closing, I am here for any of you as we navigate this tough time. Just like any other difficult times in our lives. We will get through this!