This isn’t just any July 4th holiday, is it? This year, this traditional holiday is an opportunity to reflect on the very meaning of our nation – and its promise. At Human Solutions, we know that building a better future depends on understanding and acknowledging our past. We are both realistic about our traumatic past and optimistic that together we can build a better future where Black Lives Matter and all of us experience housing and economic security in a society defined by racial justice. For us, these are the bedrock foundations of a just society. We can accept nothing less.
America is struggling on this July 4th. We are grappling with a pandemic we did not adequately prepare for and a national reckoning of our four centuries of racial injustice in the wake of the unjust murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and so many more. COVID-19 has, not surprisingly, exposed our persistent inequities, as Black and brown Americans bear the brunt of the health and economic consequences of the coronavirus. As we acknowledge our shared pain, we at Human Solutions are also focusing on making the most of this moment to intentionally and equitably build the road ahead – for our community and our nation - so that we make our collective way to justice, quickly. When we arrive, what a celebration we will have!
As we help build the road to justice, we turn to those with lived experience to lead the way. Some Black leaders we are listening to in this most American of moments (links to their Twitter feeds):
- Mia Birdsong, whom we hosted last fall in Portland to talk about building community and seeing people in poverty as strong, not weak.
- JoAnn Hardesty, our own Board Vice President and Portland City Commissioner whose longtime work to reform the police is so relevant today.
- Nicole Hannah Jones, whose work on “The 1619 Project” opened a nation’s eyes to the early and cruel beginnings we are still reeling from today.
- Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, who will join Human Solutions for a virtual event in October to talk about what it means to be an anti-racist.
We hope to see you with us on this most important of journeys. Now more than ever we need each other.
Andy Miller & the whole team at Human Solutions
PS – Want to jump into this work with us? Great, we’d love to have you. Connect with Shawna, our volunteer & in-kind donations coordinator: 503.278.1637 or firstname.lastname@example.org. No time, but want to support us? Thanks! You can always contribute online, 24/7.