Dear Meals on Wheels Durham Community,
The most recent deaths of Black Americans Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd at the hands of current or former members of our criminal justice system have placed our communities, our nation, and more importantly, our humanity under an unrelenting microscope.
For centuries, individuals in charge of protecting the freedoms and liberties of ALL people have been selective in how these protections have been applied within black communities and other communities of color. Discrimination and police brutality has long been supported by systemic racism that unfortunately and inexplicably still plagues our society. At its worst, these tragedies have been ignored, and at its best, inadequately and ineffectively addressed. These responses are not acceptable in our communities and our country. It’s unacceptable to our humanity and the responsibility we have to treat one another justly and equitably.
As an organization, Meals on Wheels Durham (MOWD) stands with those fighting for justice and lasting change. In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, many have displayed the frustration and courage necessary to face the one pandemic that has crippled human relations for centuries – racial injustice. It was encouraging to see so many people throughout the country, those of different ethnicities and nationalities, advocating for racial equality and police reform. The future of our humanity is dependent on the unified voices of all communities, both inside and outside of those where people of color live.
At Meals on Wheels Durham, we promote diversity, equity, and inclusivity. We strive to have our staff and board reflect the clients that we serve. Our invaluable volunteers, board, and staff all partner with one another to help fulfill our mission to provide proper nutrition for those who need our help. We truly believe we are a better organization because of our “differences” that work together for the greater good. Emphasizing the diversity within our communities, MOWD has worked to inform and encourage our clients to complete the 2020 census so that our communities are properly accounted for.
Until our humanity is valued by everyone and shared by all, we choose not to shy away from courageous conversations regarding racial inequality and the institutional structures that support it. While these conversations may be uncomfortable, they can lead to growth and increased understanding. I encourage you to embrace thoughtful and constructive actions – they can lead to change. No person or group of people should be relegated to hide in the shadows. When we all step into the light together, our humanity shines the brightest.
Executive Director, Meals on Wheels Durham
Endorsed by the Meals on Wheels Durham Board
Wendy Kuhn, President
Gray Ellis, Vice President
Ryan Webb, Treasurer
April Dudash, Secretary