|At Kirkridge, this is a moment to renew and enlarge our commitment to do the hard work of transforming unjust systems that do violence to dignity. We do this by speaking out against racism, brutality and injustice now. We rededicate ourselves to our mission to be and become a people of justice who actively work against racism.
As we have witnessed the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks (and decades of unheard names), we are all called to a time of reckoning. At Kirkridge, we stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and the outpouring of protest against police brutality that has risen throughout this country and the world.
It is important to name that these painful deaths are not isolated incidents of brutality. They are the result of systemic racism and injustices that are woven into the founding fabric of our society and are replicated in our lived experiences – our institutions, our cultural attitudes and our daily actions.
We all have enormous work ahead to understand and address white privilege, to challenge the systemic racism that pervades our lives, and to confront the inequities at the root of generations of trauma for people of color. And we have much to learn from the courage of all who rise up in resistance.
This commitment will require us to offer more spaces for deep listening to all who bear the harsh burden of racism; to provide more occasions for the honest and uncomfortable inner work we each must do for greater awareness; and to undertake more courageous actions together for justice, healing and hope.
|Our Next Steps in the Work Against Racism: We believe that the journey to end systemic racism begins with a journey inward. Kirkridge has taken the following steps to open space for critical reflection.
• Before going public with this statement, we gathered as a Board to reflect on how this renewed and enlarged commitment against racism and injustice is calling to us on a personal, interpersonal, and systemic level. • We are working with Equity Allies to lead retreats for white people to unpack racism and deconstruct white privilege. There will be offerings for the Board and for the public.
• We are working with an African American poet to create retreat space for reflection, more empowered voices and meaningful action.
These are our next steps in work that must be transformative and sustained. We will be sharing our journey as it unfolds and offering new opportunities for all to engage. What we know is that this work, this time, is deeply resonant with our mission.