Organizational Statement in response to the killing of George Floyd
We cannot be silent. A statement from Haiti Partners’ Board and Staff.
The brutality we all witnessed as George Floyd died is horrific. It is especially challenging as the culmination of a week in which multiple acts of violence against the black community made national headlines. These acts are part of a generations-long pattern of systemic violence against people of color. We mourn these senseless deaths and grieve the losses families and friends of these victims are experiencing. And we are committed to working toward a more just and peaceful society that would avert such atrocities in the future.
Haiti was born of similar, unthinkable violence rooted in white supremacy and suffers from the effects of those horrors to this day. At Haiti Partners, we stand against violence that is inflicted on others, especially by those in positions of power against those who are oppressed or vulnerable. Haiti Partners believes those adversely affected by these ongoing challenges need a voice. Our work is committed to combating inequality and oppression through respectful, inclusive education and dialogue.
Haiti Partners is dedicated to creating conditions for every voice to be heard.
- We believe in education that respects the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
- We believe in leadership through example and encouragement, not fear or coercion.
- We believe community is built by listening with humility, empathy, and compassion.
- We hear the pain of the black community and stand against the violence that has caused it.
Haiti Partners is building a diverse network of partners committed to creating and delivering on an educational model for a more just and peaceful society. We are here to listen, we are here to dialogue, we are here to share hope. We invite you to add your voice.
Thank you, John, Merline, Erik, and the Haiti Partners Board, for not only taking a stand by publicizing your beliefs, but by outlining your very concrete actions to rebuild a more just society based on education. Mesi from the bottom of my heart!
Thank you for your message and for your affirming words, Mary. They mean a lot to us. We hope that you and your family are well. You must be communicating with your daughter. It’s been a crazy couple of days in Venice Beach/Santa Monica and LA in general. Thank you again. John
Thank you for this input. I agree with it entirely but wish you would also include a condemnation of ALL violence regardless of the perpetrator or the victim. There are people who can’t remember George Floyd’s name who are looting, vandalizing and causing bodily harm not to mention the distraction they are to the memory of people like MLK Jr. They should be condemned as well in my opinion.
Thank you so much for taking time to write, Jim! I’ve been meaning to write you for weeks. How are you? How is Lois? How are all your kids and extended family? Yes, we knew that we wanted to get a statement out quickly and we knew that the risk was it would need to be edited. And, it does indeed! What you’re saying is exactly what Merline and I were saying to one another within hours of publishing it as we watched the looting happening around the country. We also continue to read about the organized far left and far right groups that are using the situation as an opportunity to advance their agenda. Thank you so much for taking the time to write. I’ll be sharing your insights with our board and staff. If you’re available, I’d love to catch up by phone or zoom this week. Warmest regards to you and Lois. John
Thank you so much for sharing this. So many parallels to the Haiti history. I also want to be sure to voice that it’s not appropriate to police people’s reaction to 400 years of oppression, to years of seeing black men killed in real time online. And not to mention that people of color are dying disproportionately, and also on the front lines as essential workers, others losing their livelihoods during this time.
This is not the time to judge, but the time to be in unity. As a Black woman in America with a 22 year old son, I’ve been metabolizing these things along with the Black community for decades. Things are bound to come to a head. I heard the term “looting” be reframed to “rebellion”. Not all expressions of pain are constructive, and when doing things “the right way” has not changed the racist way that Black people are treated in America – by our government, headed by an openly racist demagogue with no moral compass. What else are people to do?
I am definitely all for being constructive, and praying about how I can be a part of the solution as well. This is a seminal moment in history – actually several of them intersecting. What we need now is to be in touch with our humanity. I am so grateful for the work that Haiti Partners is doing, and that you lent your voice to what is happening in America at this time.