June 6, 2020
Dear Homestead Village Community,
Our hearts are broken for the tragedy that has occurred in our nation these past two weeks. The senseless, evil, brutal violence and even murder of African American men and women across the United States has been put in the spotlight. The protests that have risen are not due to just the event in Minneapolis last week, but due to the daily experience of people of color at the hands of our society. It has been building for decades. This must change.
Sadly, the protests have been hijacked by a small minority of individuals who want to incite violence and their actions have led to bodily injuries, deaths and destruction of businesses including theft of merchandise. The collision of these three distinct actions – protest, violence, and theft – has clouded, politicized and confused the real issue.
That issue is freedom for all, equal opportunity for all and respect for all people. Our friends and neighbors who are persons of color experience different treatment on a daily basis and this needs to stop.
What can we do? Pray for peace. Pray for open minds and hearts. Pray for eyes that search for merit in individuals regardless of skin color, ethnicity or gender. We need to speak up when we witness injustice – no matter how small or big. Silence is the same as condoning. We cannot be silent anymore. We need to search our hearts for bigotry and clean up our own thoughts and speech. We need to stand up when we hear and see bigoted and hateful speech and actions from others. We need to lead and encourage open discussion among all Homestead Village stakeholders and partners about ways that we can be an example in the community for equality. We need to review our policies and processes and encourage our partners to do the same to ensure fairness and equality. Our country needs change and that change begins with each of us.
We are calling all of Homestead Village to a time of prayer or meditation on these issues. We need to be the difference. This is not a political issue. It is doing what is right and expecting that same behavior from everyone around us, including our government agencies, businesses, neighbors, friends and family. We cannot tolerate racism of any kind in our society any longer.
The Leadership of Homestead Village