Community of Hope is outraged and sick with sorrow about the murder of George Floyd last week, along with other continued attacks on people of color – especially African-Americans – by police and white people. We mourn the loss of Mr. Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many, many others – some known to us through the news but so many more deaths and attacks that don’t even make the news, including in the communities where we work and live.
We have watched the response in Minneapolis, St. Louis, Atlanta, and in our own city, Washington, DC. We understand that fears of interaction with the police and the trauma of micro- and macro-aggressions and racism are daily realities for people of color and make this time of heightened anxiety even harder. We share the heartbreak of people of color. Our team is comprised of 82% people of color and the people we serve are almost all people of color.
These senseless deaths and systemic injustices weigh on us heavily, on top of the data showing people of color are having higher rates of infection and death from COVID-19 – a reality that is far too familiar among the patients we serve in Ward 8. Our healthcare services work to improve those health outcomes and provide critical testing and follow up.
Simply understanding these realities falls short. Our organizational values and approach, culture statement, and strategic plan name that we, as a staff and a patient majority board of directors:
- Care for families by providing direct services with a focus on prevention, healing, and wellness.
- Improve lives by building on families’ strengths, honoring their choices, and taking a whole-family, multi-generational approach.
- Lead and advocate for system change to address the effects of historical and current racial inequities on health outcomes and housing opportunities. We strive to be equitable and anti-racist, operating with the understanding that structural racism and implicit biases exist in the environment where we work.
- Embrace the diversity of our community, welcome all voices and perspectives, and treat everyone with respect, compassion, and integrity.
- Respect and care for everyone with whom we work. We work to combat our own implicit biases and refrain from engaging in microaggressions.
- Listen actively and are continuous learners. We are inclusive, approachable, respectful, and we are always seeking to learn from each other and our community.
In all of these statements, we advance our mission to improve health and end family homelessness to make Washington, DC more equitable. We envision a hope-filled future for everyone in Washington, DC, with a special focus on under-resourced communities – Bellevue, Carver Terrace, Adams Morgan, Anacostia, Stanton Square, Washington Highlands, Columbia Heights, and Congress Heights.
Your continued support of our work is a critical element of our success in the vision we have for the future. Achieving this vision requires all of us and all of our intentionality. We ask you to join us in standing up, speaking out, and rejecting all forms of racism and hatred. We need you to be allies for people of color.
We hope you will continue to be a part of this Community of Hope. We need to unite to make this city equitable – especially for those who face racism and injustice every day.
-Your friends at Community of Hope