Reflecting on Juneteenth
Updated: Feb 18, 2021
Today, Juneteenth, I find myself in deep reflection and prayer about what I can personally do to help bring equity and equality to our society and for the people I love. As you read my personal reflection, I am challenging you to also consider what you can do to help unite our community. Please take the time both today and in the future to listen intently to the pleas of those who are asking us to end systemic discrimination, racism, oppression, and violence.
As a poor, blonde Caucasian girl growing up in Santa Ana, I had friends of all races, but my best friends were Jewish, Bolivian, and Black. Not until recently did I fully understand the discrimination, racism, and other injustices that my Black friends experienced. I want equity, justice, and equality for ALL, and I stand in solidarity with those who are working to implement change. I stand with those near and dear to my heart and with those I have never met.
As an organization that supports families experiencing homelessness, we commit to telling the full story of homelessness, the one that includes systemic racism that has left so many Black Americans without housing or wealth. The events of the past few weeks, as well as the past three months, have highlighted the importance of the work that we all do, as well as highlighted some uncomfortable truths: 13% of the US population is Black, over 40% of people who are homeless are Black, while our 1,200 volunteers are predominately White. Family Promise of Orange County is part of a larger network of over 200 Affiliates in 43 states, engaging over 200,000 volunteers with one goal: ending family homelessness. We have a unique seat at the table that allows us to promote change and take an active role in being part of the solution.
We honor the work being done to end family homelessness in our community, and we honor the broader work being done toward justice. We commit as an organization to be open, diverse, and educated. We know there are no easy solutions to ending centuries of systemic racism, but we will hold ourselves accountable to reflect, listen, learn, and use our abilities to make a difference.
Let us do this work together to build an Orange County that helps ALL our residents thrive and let us work together so that we can have the equitable communities to which we all aspire. Just as we work together to help end homelessness, only TOGETHER can we truly end racial inequality in our community.
Family Promise of Orange County