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Let’s Lock Arms and Advocate for Change

from Kelly Dunkin and Community First Foundation

Dear friends,

The past few months have been difficult and have brought to light the inequities and injustice that exist within our country. The video of Amy Cooper demonstrating her explicit understanding of a racist system and her intention to manipulate it to her advantage is unacceptable. The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor are the latest causalities of a broken system and there are not enough words to express the grief and anger our communities are feeling. We pledge to call out this injustice and brutality when it occurs.

Community First Foundation staff and Board of Directors continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder against racism and inequity. We know we are not perfect in our efforts, but we are devoted to showing up and working together to move this cause forward. We shall be steadfast.

Please join us in taking action. As individuals, we need to find ways to be vulnerable and open to deeper discovery. We can’t be afraid of difficult and uncomfortable conversations and we must have the cultural humility to really listen. Mistakes will be made but it is more important to be part of the solution than to be silent. Those of us with relevant resources can use our voice, time and financial means to support causes that help create positive change for black people. We will do our part to create safe spaces for people of color that encourage authentic expression and identity.  We will search out and follow social media influencers who don’t look like us and expose ourselves to other perspectives. We will read books about systemic racism and form our opinions through research and education. Finally – we must practice self-care. Grief, anger and stress have immense impact on our emotional and physical well-being. Please recognize that and take care.

As organizations, we need to make diversity, equity and inclusion more than just a priority in our annual objectives or strategic plan. We must commit to creating a workplace culture where everyone has a voice, feels safe and belongs. We will seek out training and partner with organizations leading these types of efforts, learning from their successes and their mistakes. We will also include our boards of directors and other governing bodies. Now is the time to harness their influence and support.

None of this is easy. Many of us are angry, traumatized, overwhelmed and confused and there is still so much work to be done. Some of us are fatigued from fighting the same injustices over and over again. To those who feel the same as we do, please know that you are not fighting alone.

We will be steadfast.

In love and courage,

Kelly Dunkin
President & CEO
Community First Foundation

 

Kelly Dunkin
President and CEO
720.898.5922
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