The past couple of weeks have been hard for our communities. We are outraged by the brutality that led to the murder of George Floyd and other senseless acts of violence against African Americans. Even in our own community, we mourn the death of Manuel Ellis. Add to this the growing protests across our country, the riots and a pandemic in which a disproportionate number of black and brown people have died from COVID-19, and we are left with a feeling of anger and despair. So much heartache and tragedy has weighed heavily on my soul. Certainly, these recent events have underscored the severity and violence of racism that our communities experience in the United States and across the world every day.
At the same time, it has deepened my resolve and commitment to the work that we do in our community. At our core, United Way of Pierce County is about mobilizing the caring power of our community to tackle the tough issues that are important to all of us. I have said it many times that we can’t do poverty reduction work without addressing the systemic racial issues and disparities that impact black and brown folks, and specifically the Black community. Everyone deserves to live in a society where they feel safe, respected and protected and each of us has a role to play in creating a more equitable future.
Working together, we are committed to addressing systemic challenges and inequities, healing our community and putting opportunity in the hands of all Pierce County residents.
Now, more than ever, we must LIVE UNITED.