Together We Serve for Racial Justice
By Jim Wambach | June 9, 2020
A Statement from Children Rising on Racial Justice
The murder of George Floyd on May 25th at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer was heinous and intolerable. It has exposed a centuries-old wound, once again shining a spotlight on racial injustice in our nation.
Children Rising stands in strong support of racial justice. We ally with passionate, peaceful protesters who raise their voice against the cruel and unnecessary death of George Floyd and the centuries of biased social structures that have existed for too long in this country. These structures have limited opportunity and have excused violence against African Americans for far too long. They are deeply-rooted in many aspects of our society, including the criminal justice, healthcare, and education systems, and in the personal views of many who have yet to recognize “white privilege.” The result is generation after generation of African Americans living in the shadows of poverty, violence, fear, and inequity.
Black Lives Matter. This past week, our nation has convulsed under the weight of deep-felt sorrow, frustration, and anger. Sadly, we’ve been down this well-worn path so many times. Names like Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Oscar Grant, Michael Brown, Freddy Gray, and Eric Garner brought angry protests to the streets of our cities in the past decade. But this time, something feels different.
The ancient Hebrew prophet Isaiah wrote, “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed…” We stand with our African American brothers and sisters and with all others seeking positive change. We believe it is not enough to be non-racist. We must all be anti-racist. Silence is culpability. It’s time for all of America to actively become part of understanding and addressing this issue.
We pray that God’s love continues to open hearts throughout this country, and reveal a better understanding of the plight of our African American brothers and sisters. We also pray that this moment in our history will become a pivotal point for lasting change. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, “True peace is not the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.” We believe this social upheaval towards a just society for everyone should not end until African Americans can truly feel they are safe in America.
As an organization, we are inspired to strengthen our commitment for equal education for all children. Our mission is to nurture and equip vulnerable children to rise above the challenges created by generations of poverty, violence, and educational inequity. Deeply rooted racism is at the heart of why so many African Americans continue to suffer under these societal ills. Educational inequity is one of the many outcomes of this pervasive racism. Improving the quality of education for vulnerable children of color is imperative and foundational for achieving long-term, enduring social justice.
We pledge as an organization and as individuals to work even harder to provide opportunities where the broader community can address educational inequity in our urban public schools. Our one-on-one tutoring and mentoring programs are designed to place a caring adult in the life of a vulnerable child. When volunteer tutors and mentors step out of their comfort zone, they develop relationships with children, youth, and school staff, many of whom are African American. These caring volunteers are often transformed by their service. For those who are not African American themselves, most develop an all-new and important empathy for the struggles of so many African American families.
Finally, we believe in the overall goodness of our neighbors. Serving the vulnerable in our society promotes understanding and compassion. An increased spirit of service will open more ears to listen, and more eyes to better see, and we will approach a new era of community — a community of fairness and equality for all, regardless of the color of our skin.
None of us should expect meaningful change without actively becoming part of the solution. All of us at Children Rising encourage you to seek meaningful ways to put your good intentions into action. We will do our best to do more, so together we can defeat systemic racism once and for all.
Chairperson, Board of Directors