Dear AT Family,
The events of this past month have shaken us to our core. Already vulnerable from living in quarantine from a world radically changed in March with COVID-19, we were all trying to make sense of the “new realities”. There was talk about how we were all in the same storm yet navigating on different boats. Many had no idea how different those boats could be based on race.
In late April, data emerged showing higher rates of sickness and death from COVID-19 in communities of color. Health and educational disparities became obvious as schools shut down and work arounds to educate students had to be created. Education in under-resourced communities proved impossible, and students of color disproportionately lack internet access and necessary equipment.
Then over the past week we watched videos of the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer and watched Amy Cooper weaponizing the police against Christian Cooper in New York City’s Central Park while he was bird watching. We also watched Ahmaud Arbery executed on video while jogging in Georgia, an incident that took place in February of this year. These acts of violence against Black people in America have persisted for decades, only to be brought to light due to social media and cell phone video.
There is no rationalizing the disparities that exist in our country and the racism that permeates our communities. We live in a society built on systemic and institutionalized racism and today our communities are coming together to say NO MORE. Now, we must figure out how to move forward as a community and begin healing.
Adoptions Together was built on the value of welcoming every child and family in need of our services. We cherish the diversity in the community we serve. We know that many in our community are in terrible pain. Trauma that occurs in the context of relationship heals in the context of relationship. Now is the time to show up, to listen, to learn, and to reach out and support those who are hurting most.
For all parents, helping your children understand racism is brutally hard. For those who are white and parenting black or brown children, it’s critical to acknowledge that your children have a different experience in the world than you do. Dig deep into your own privilege in order to fully be present. Speak out against injustices that happen to them and to the larger Black community. No child, or person, should be treated as less than human because of the color of their skin. Unfortunately, this is a reality of life for black Americans, every day, in some way denied life, liberty, and the true pursuit of happiness.
As you read this, I ask you to please have honest, frank, age-appropriate conversations with your children, your family members, and friends on this issue. Personally, reflect on what you have done and what you can do to make America a better place for everyone. Speak up and shed light on bias and racists acts and comments, no matter now subtle or gray they may seem.
Report those acts and record them when it’s safe to do so. Albert Einstein so eloquently said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
Below please find some resources for expanding consciousness:
So today, we grieve. We hope. We learn. We have work to do. Remember, we are in this together. Love, empathy, awareness, and understanding never fails when we use them to take impactful actions.
Founder & CEO