Recent weeks have tested each of us to consider the realities of who we are as a society, a community, and as individuals. From a global pandemic to national protests for racial equity, two common themes have been highlighted by these experiences: the expansive disparities experienced by communities of color, and the power of individuals to make a difference.
In Boston, we are a city with a rich tapestry of cultures represented among residents. The recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others, have again thrown the spotlight on the disparities and systemic racism experienced by Black Americans across the country. We condemn racist acts, and we stand in solidarity with those who are fighting for justice. We affirm Black Lives Matter.
We also recognize these are issues that run deep within our cities, systems, and culture, and that we have more work to do. Our board and staff are taking this to heart, and examining our practices around diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are committed to listening, learning, and determining where we can make change internally, and how we can support this change in our community.
Civic engagement – and the change that can come from it – is at the heart of our work. Volunteerism takes many forms, but at its core it is an act to serve each other, to better our shared community, and to create change. Today, we are seeing daily examples of this across the world – from protests to homemade masks. We see communities around the world fighting for equity and justice through protest, and individuals, corporations, and nonprofit organizations using their platforms to speak out against racism. We’re also seeing people step up to help with needs across the community – distributing food, getting supplies to students, checking on isolated seniors, and supporting health care workers. These acts of service and civic engagement are integral to making our community stronger, and to implementing change.
To everyone showing up – using your voice, volunteering your time, donating, educating – we are here with you, and will continue to be as the world changes. Our work is changing too. From building new ways to volunteer during this time to navigating how we can speak out as an organization on issues important to us and our community – we are learning, listening, changing, growing.
-Sara Hamilton, Boston Cares Executive Director