Dear NECC Community,
It has been twelve days since the brutal murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis Police Officer. Twelve days to watch anguished and exasperated Americans denounce police brutality against Black people in the United States. We share their grief, their frustration, their sorrow, and their anger, and we join them in condemning police brutality and the systems that support it. Black Lives Matter.
It has been twelve days of listening to our government officials and community leaders promise institutional change that will dismantle systemic racism in all its forms. We stand with the Black community and join these leaders in committing to create a world that is just and equitable for all.
And it has also been twelve days to deeply reflect inward on the NECC’s role in addressing systemic racism and injustice.
After these twelve days, I am left with the question: How can we continue with business as usual?
Systemic racism affects all aspects of society, and racism and discrimination lie at the root of the well-documented race-based physical health disparities that affect Black people and communities of color. This is a moment we cannot allow to pass without committing the NECC to be part of the systemic change that is needed right now. This is a moment to recognize that in fulfilling our mission to support all our neighbors’ health and wellness, we must commit to do more to support our Black neighbors. But this commitment cannot last for merely a moment – in this moment we must begin to forever change the beliefs, systems, and practices that have for so long supported inequity, oppression, and injustice.
These are the actions the NECC is taking:
- Educating ourselves on the history of racism and oppression in our city, state, and county;
- Investigating our own privilege so we can embed racial equity in our work;
- Listening to and amplifying Black voices;
- Reviewing our policies and practices to identify and eliminate barriers and practice active inclusion and service;
- Talking to our friends, families and neighbors about racism;
- Seeking out community partners who prioritize Black lives and health;
- Acknowledging and understanding how the intersections of race and other factors of a person’s identity might combine to create other modes of discrimination; and
- Examining our policies and practices regarding police intervention, and looking for situation-specific solutions that are more closely aligned with the NECC’s need
We are privileged to have an opportunity to serve you. We invite you to hold us accountable for building a more equitable community-based organization. Please join us in this moment and in this work.
Executive Director she/her/hers