In addition to the challenges of the coronavirus outbreak, the events of this past week have brought focus to a set of long unaddressed challenges. It has provided a mandate for all of us—white and black—to take action to finally address the inequity and inequality in our society.
While contemplating my words, I came across a series of quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, that directly address refusing to stay silent in the face of injustice. One in particular seemed to resonate with my feelings and certainly provided a call to action. Dr. King stated, “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.” I do believe and hope that the demonstrations of this past week establish that the good people will not remain silent any longer.
St. Vincent de Paul Louisville must become a participant in demanding change to the systemic inequities that I see, but due to my privilege of whiteness, do not experience.
St. Vincent de Paul Louisville is in full support of our black colleagues, clients, and all stakeholders. It is incumbent upon us; it is required of us.
Addressing the inequity is indeed the prescribed mission of St. Vincent de Paul Louisville and has been since 1853. There is a very direct connection between the inequity that our black and brown citizens experience and their much more prevalent experience of homelessness. It is not an exaggeration to state that racial inequality causes homelessness. In response to these injustices, we as an organization are committed to assuring equity for our clients, and we will work diligently to ensure that clients are seen and heard throughout our programs.
I am thankful to work alongside such a dedicated group of people. Together we will meet this challenge head on.
As a supporter of our mission, we ask that you use your voice to lift up those who have been marginalized and denied basic human rights and speak out against inequity and inequality.