For the last two weeks, millions of people have joined in protest across the country following the death of George Floyd under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer. These historic demonstrations are about much more than the horrific death of George Floyd. They are a collective expression of frustration and anger about 400 years of economic and racial injustice that African Americans have suffered under our country’s institutions and policies.
As members of the Human Services Chamber, we march in spirit with citizens across the nation to express our outrage to the systems that have oppressed African Americans for centuries. In our daily work, we see the connection between racism and poverty up close and personal. This is why the Human Services Chamber is dedicated to advocating for change. We cannot stand idly by while people of color disproportionately suffer poverty wages, the lack of affordable housing, and sub-par healthcare and transportation. This economic injustice must end.
We believe Black Lives Matter. Our governments must respond to the trauma that racism has inflicted, while also providing new opportunities for people of color to support their families and communities. This will require policy changes that increase wages and make affordable housing a priority. It will require additional investments in services that provide skills training, childcare, and mental health and addiction services. We will continue to advocate for this support and to serve those in need.
We will also continue to work on our sector, striving to ensure we have diverse leaders to guide our organizations. This work will require persistence and patience, as most worthwhile change does. But we are committed to getting there.
“The time is always right to do what is right,” said MLK, Jr. We believe now is the time.