To our brothers and sisters, friends, partners, and colleagues in the Black community:
It is difficult to find words to express our devastation and brokenness over the lives that have been taken – those we know of and those we don’t – this year and in the many years of our country’s history. We grieve with you and we are angry. As both individuals and as an organization we commit to standing with you.
We acknowledge that we are participants in a shared history of deep trauma and we repent for our complicity in systems that have perpetuated injustice and suffering. Beyond this moment in time, there is a long, hard road ahead of us. As an organization, we have worked for freedom and justice for years but have still failed to fully grasp the struggle of our brothers and sisters.
Our city has a history of racism and division. Our churches have fallen short. We have caused pain. We are asking God to forgive us for ways we have contributed to racism and to guide us into a deeper understanding of his work to redeem, restore and reconcile all people through his son Jesus Christ.
We commit to moving forward in unity. We are listening. We are praying. We are actively researching, continually learning with eyes wide open. We are taking action. We commit to deepening our relationships with African American leaders in our community that we already know and seeking out those that we don’t know yet to listen and learn. We will actively seek involvement from African American youth for our youth leadership coalition. We also pledge to use our influence and relationships to advocate for meaningful reforms that will address police brutality and inequitable enforcement against the Black community.
We know that we might make mistakes and we pledge to acknowledge and correct our actions when they are pointed out to us by those we seek to serve. As an organization, we are motivated by our unshakeable belief that every human being is valuable and deserves to be free. We believe, standing with our brothers and sisters, that Black lives matter and we join the chorus of voices calling for meaningful actions from individuals, institutions, and communities to combat systemic racism.
Central Valley Justice Coalition staff and board