Recently, we have experienced two terrible tragedies that have put a blazing spotlight on inequities in our country. Our country, in fact the world, has been shut down from an unprecedented pandemic. Over 100,000 people have died in the United States. Those most likely to die are African American and Latinx due to health and economic inequities. In addition, the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police officers – whose duty is to protect and serve – has further intensified the spotlight on racial inequities that are everyday realities for primarily African American and Latinx people.
Our emotions have been laid bare and are raw. The protests that are occurring across the U.S. are not only a way to express the pain and frustration that has built up over many years and generations, but also bring awareness to injustice and inequality that have resulted in the death of too many unarmed African Americans as the result of police brutality.
These actions are not over one painful incident and a 3-month shutdown. The pain is much deeper and points to systemic racism and white privilege that we have failed to address. There is much that needs to be done. We will be challenged to move past pain and frustration while still using these feelings to hold us accountable to move change forward.
In the nonprofit community, we cannot pat ourselves on the back because of the services we provide as we have not done enough. At United Way of San Diego County, we accept the challenge and recommit to Live United with communities of color and people of color.
We will continue to focus our efforts on creating a more just society by providing opportunities for learning and achieving educational success of children and career readiness of young adults. We will strengthen our support of families experiencing economic and social challenges so that they may thrive. We will call out systemic racism and inequities that cause our children to fail, and listen to community voices to address their needs and the needs of their families. We cannot do this alone so we will also continue to bring partner organizations and people with diverse voices and lived experiences together to attain our common goal of education and learning success from cradle to career.
United Way of San Diego County stands with you!
Nancy L. Sasaki
CEO, United Way of San Diego County