To the Perkins Community,
In coordination with the Perkins leadership team, I feel compelled to share some brief thoughts with you. Over the last 3 months, we have been battling the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic. However, as the recent killing of George Floyd brought to light once again, another pandemic, one defined by racism, inequality, and police violence targeting people of color has gripped our nation and consciousness. As I think about this, the words don’t come easily. The issues are not new, but more than ever, I find myself saddened and angry. There is so much pain and suffering. I know that my words alone cannot heal or change that. However, I want you to know that at Perkins we are committed to doing what we can – as individuals, advocates, service providers and as a community – and to opening a dialogue within the Perkins community.
George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery are just the most recent men and women of color killed because of racism and police brutality. Their deaths are unjust and unfathomable. I say their names because they matter greatly. And the protests in support of their lives are also valuable and just.
At Perkins, where our tagline is, “a chance to blossom” and our mission is to promote meaningful and sustained well-being, we know that no child or adult can thrive in a world where they don’t feel safe. Racism is harmful and insidious. It affects every person of color – students, adults, family members, staff – in our community. And police brutality and inequality across this country adversely affects our Black community members.
But for all that I’ve just stated, we have so much to learn. As an organization we are not experts at dismantling racism, setting aside bias, or acknowledging privilege. We can do better and are committed to addressing these issues and doing the work associated with this. We are listening, learning, and we will make progress.
Our hearts are heavy and we are thinking about all of our colleagues and those affected by recent events and by acts of racism, discrimination, or violence.
If you have any thoughts, suggestions, or resources to share, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We are always better and more whole because of our community.
Michael W. Ames, PhD President & CEO
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