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Parallel Pandemics

Parallel Pandemics

| June 08, 2020
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The value of age is experience, whether we like it or not. I remember being in downtown DC the weekend following the ’68 riots. The city eerily still, store windows duct taped or boarded. The frightening sight of tanks and soldiers with rifles and dogs in the streets of our beautiful, sleepy city. My mother sent me door to door in my neighborhood collecting supplies for those who were burned out of their homes. Neighbors - in whose homes I had grown up, with whose children I played - slammed doors in my face. I was a child. But my effort to protect our fellow Washingtonians flew in the face of many of my neighbors, who could not see beyond their own fear and rage.

In recent days, we have watched as outraged and frustrated protestors spilled out into the streets of American cities. Across our communities, unhealed wounds have been brought vividly to our attention once again. The outrage at injustice and calls to end the systemic racism that perpetuates it are rippling loudly across the country. We are awash in grief. We are overwhelmed by the pandemic. But we cannot turn away from recognizing the deep inequities embedded in the socio-economic structure and cultural fabric of our country and how they tragically and disproportionately affect black, brown, and indigenous communities.

And it has been agonizing watching our press under physical siege by those sworn to preserve and protect the First Amendment: what would we say, what have we said, when we witnessed such things on foreign soil?

At times like this, we recognize that our work includes nurturing a stronger connection to our community. We also recognize that justice is essential for prosperity and abundance is not a zero-sum game. We are strengthening our commitment to actively seek and take concrete actions to help create a more equitable world. If you're interested, we have shared ways to participate at the end of this note. If you have other ways that perhaps support your more immediate community or other healing groups you know, please share them with us.

We hope that you and your loved ones are safe and well during these extraordinary times. If we can helpful to you or someone you care about, please let us know.

Jamie

- Color of Change, the nation's largest online racial justice organization.

- Anguish and Action from the Obama Foundation, which has a trove of resources on what we can do to create a more just and equitable world.

- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties of all.

 -VOTE! And encourage others to do so. Express your belief through the power of your vote in order to ensure it’s YOUR government. Contact your representative to tell them you support mail in voting. Visit Common Cause, a nonpartisan, grassroots organization working to ensure every voice is heard in the political process.

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