When we look at the events of the past few days, we remember not only the massive and heroic Civil Rights struggles of the 1960s but also the Stonewall Riots in 1969 that spurred the LGBT rights movement. The #blacklivesmatter movement may feel new to some, but we view the events of the past few days as nothing more than the most recent act in a struggle against racism that has gone on for over 400 years. Our Board is composed of individuals who view the video of George Floyd’s final moments and can neither process nor comprehend why a man struggling to explain that he cannot breathe should have his life extinguished so callously. He lived simply but his life has sparked a flame in our nation, our community, and our organization.
We at New Hope Celebrates know we must do a better job of fostering, promoting, and celebrating all forms of diversity, especially racial diversity so that we can truly celebrate with everyone in our community. We will work over the summer to determine how we can be stronger and more consistent in promoting better inclusion. It is distressing but poignant that George Floyd’s life had to be lost for us to realize that improvements are now a necessity moving forward. Now is the time to reflect, the time to act and the time to make a change.
To continue and broaden our mission as an organization, we commit to listening, growing, and adopting a broader vision of whose inclusion and equality we must support… There is still much uncertainty with the “new normal” of the pandemic in our community. While we’re thinking about this “new normal” we will also be thinking about ways to create a normal where inequality, and particularly racism, is called out and change is made to make all of us better.
We wish all of you health and clarity during these unprecedented times. New Hope Celebrates is here to support and help in any way we can. You can always reach out to us. We want to hear from you – if it’s just to say hello, if you need help, if you have ideas if you want to get involved, anything! We do this in the belief that everyone needs room to breathe every day and that the story of George Floyd shall never be forgotten. As his six-year-old daughter said earlier this week, “My Daddy changed the world.”
We leave you with one of our favorite quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. – “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” Be well everyone.