Dear HOPE Atlanta community,
We remain deeply troubled by the recent injustices involving the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, among so many others in our African American communities. It has cast an even brighter light on the systemic racism and inequities in opportunity that people of color experience daily.
We have already seen the effects of the global pandemic magnify these inequities in opportunity as we see our Black friends, family members, neighbors and colleagues become more ill and experience job loss at higher rates, all while having less access to affordable housing and basic healthcare.
HOPE Atlanta stands firmly in our anti-racist roots, and decries the injustices, bias and violence experienced in the African American community. With your help, HOPE Atlanta works each day to secure safe and stable housing for individuals and families, many of whom have suffered from systemic racism and the impact of inequities in opportunity. We know that safe housing is foundational to stability, not only for individuals and families, but for our overall communities as well.
I recognize that I cannot begin to fathom the pain and anguish felt by so many. However, I empathize and believe strongly that these societal behaviors are unacceptable and it is on all of us to make a difference. Although we are working to achieve the goals outlined in our Cultural Competency & Humility Plan, designed to meet the diverse needs of our staff and to promote an empathetic and caring service environment for our clients, I recognize that we have more work to do.
So along with this statement of solidarity, this is an invitation for listening and learning. I welcome your thoughts and ideas on how we, at HOPE Atlanta, can build a stronger stance against injustices, racism and bias, and I appreciate your support in our efforts to effect social change and economic prosperity for all.
With sincere appreciation,
Jeffrey M. Smythe