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As a network that works to advance equity and racial justice, it is important to acknowledge the fear, uncertainty, frustration, and pain arising for so many in the current environment.

While the events of this past week have brought long-standing issues of racism and bigotry to the forefront, these are a constant lived reality for too many of us. The constant barrage of reminders of our nation’s oppressive past and the elements still present affects us all - especially those from historically oppressed groups.

At a local level, we know that our history of oppression here in Baltimore did not come down with the Confederate statues the other night. Considering the history of racially motivated disinvestments in communities of color that still has a severe impact in the day-to-day lives of a significant number of our city residents, this can be particularly painful.

The kind of flashpoints we observed in Charlottesville and so many other places recently - and the kind we expect to see in rallies planned for the coming weeks - can immobilize some, while spurring others to increased action. It is important that we continue in the work, while not taking for granted “business as usual.” Even when the “business” is the good done across our network, we must make space for the trauma that many of us are experiencing and take the time to acknowledge and hold space for what we and our co-workers are going through individually and how that affects the collective.

We stand by certain principles at Baltimore Corps and hope that you, as a member of this extraordinary network, continue to live into these as we work together to advance a citywide agenda for equity and racial justice. Following are just a couple of suggestions to consider:
  • Take time for self-care. Working in pursuit of social and racial justice is difficult, and it takes its toll. Celebrate the victories, big and small.

  • Show up. Our city needs every one of us. More importantly, we need one another. As you are able, take the time to show up to events, be present with others and open to constructive dialogue.
     
We know that progress is won, as it has always been, by the countless, tireless, unnamed champions - like you - who persist in the face of enormous obstacles and cynicism. May our vocations and unbending sense of justice give us the hope we need to sustain ourselves as we walk the winding, never-ending staircase of Progress: to create a future for Baltimore—and cities everywhere—that is more equitable, just, healthy, and as full of potential as the people who live here.

Sincerely,


Fagan Harris
President & CEO

 
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