Over the last year, we navigated an unprecedented global pandemic that according to WHO (World Health Organization) claimed over 3 million lives worldwide. As we navigated a viral plague, we also faced other insidious opponents. The COVID-19 crisis elucidated and exasperated long-standing racial inequities and systemic disparities within the American economic system, healthcare system, educational system, and law enforcement. We slowly began to navigate multiple pandemics simultaneously, resulting in collective trauma.
Our reality was reminiscent of a post-apocalyptic sci-fi dystopia. We watched as states strategically passed voter suppression bills and eroded our democracy. Marginalized communities were pushed to the margins of the margins. The income gap deepened. Our indigenous communities were further disenfranchised. We bore witness to multiple killings of unarmed Black women, men, and children. For a brief moment in time, our often divided nation united. We galvanized to demand an end to the brutality, hate, racial injustice, and systematic oppression.
As vaccination rollouts increase and the world slowly tries to regain homeostasis, we want to take a moment to acknowledge the events of the last year. Our hearts are with those affected by and lost to the pandemic. We honor the lives lost to brutality and hate.
We remain committed to our mission of promoting and cultivating positive social change, intergenerational civic engagement, social and economic justice, and research on equity, and justice worldwide. We encourage you to use this time to engage in anti-racism work and advocate for and on behalf of all marginalized communities affected by social, economic, and political injustice. Join us in our mission to achieve an equitable society that values all human beings regardless of race- creed, gender, sexual orientation, or disability status-as sentient and worthy of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We are building the compassionate, kind, empathetic, and equitable world that we envision.
“Every individual deserves respect and dignity and that individually and collective people have the capacity, power, right and responsibility to effectuate social change”
~ Medgar Evers