by Karen Santilli
In the midst of this global pandemic, we have also been witness to the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and countless others at the hands of the general public and law enforcement. These incidents reflect the systemic racism and discrimination that exists in our country. We are outraged and heartbroken - but we know this is not enough.
Inequality continues to contribute to, and exacerbate, homelessness in our country. Through our work with those experiencing homelessness in Rhode Island, we have witnessed firsthand the collective grief and struggles of people and communities displaced by structural racism.
We are proud to say that Crossroads has a long-standing commitment to diversity and racial equity. The very nature of our work, and how we conduct it, is about providing equitable housing for our community. We remain committed to offering programs and services that are responsive to the needs of vulnerable individuals and families in Rhode Island, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation.
But we can always do better and more - and we will. Today, we recommit to our values of safety, effectiveness and, in particular, respect. Respect for the communities that we serve and for each other. You have our commitment that we will stay informed on the issues our community faces and conduct our work in a trauma-informed way.
To our Black communities, colleagues, donors, funders and corporate partners, we see you and recognize that many of you are not okay. We affirm that Black Lives Matter and pledge our solidarity with communities of color in Rhode Island and across the country.
We are here for you and will continue to be as we navigate these exceptionally challenging times in our country together.
Please be well and remember to take care of one another.