Dear readers, partners, and survivors,
There is no good way to start this, but our hearts are aching for George Floyd and the many Black people that have lost their lives at the hands of racism and unjust systems of oppression. As a Center, we are outraged and hurting. I do not think words can fully explain how the community is processing and feeling right now, but this ends with us. We stand and fight with Black Lives Matter and the protest taking place across the country.
The NWA Center for Sexual Assault believes in a mission that commits to anti-violence, inclusion, and liberation. Some of you reading may be wondering why is a sexual assault center talking about racism and police brutality? Actively being anti-racist and doing what we can to dismantle the systems of violence and oppression within our justice and police system is essential to survivors of assault. But our commitment to anti-racism and anti-violence extends outside of survivors into the community and nation, because we want to end the normalization of racism, violence, and suffering.
These words are easy to type on a page or post on social media, but we are taking action through our outreach and partnerships. We actively seek to create diverse connections, programs, and partnerships with the community through our 5 outreach teams. These teams focus on the Marshallese Community, the Black Community, the LGBTQIA+ Community, the Faith Community, and the Spanish speaking Community. This is not just an effort to educate the community on sexual violence, but these teams allow us to create resources and support systems directly asked for and wanted by the community. I will also openly say, we are always learning and growing so if people have wants and needs not being met, reach out, and we will change that immediately.
Moving forward, not only will we continue with our outreach teams but work to grow and expand with the needs of communities. We will use our platform and resources to promote and create space for organizations committed to anti-racism and anti-violence work. We are working to continually expand our staff and volunteer trainings to include all-encompassing cultural competency, identity, and anti-racism curriculum. We also want to make clear, we understand we work with police departments but will continue to ensure that all survivors who access our services are safe, supported, and in control of how, when, and if they ever interact with police departments.
We see your pain. We hear your demands. And we unequivocally support and stand with Black Lives Matter and anti-racism fights. To all reading, we challenge you to take this fight into your lives. Talk to your coworkers, supervisors, family members, and friends. This work doesn’t end when the protest stops. It ends when being Black isn’t a crime.
Our thoughts are with the family and loved ones of George Floyd. Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of all Black people who experience daily oppression and to those who have lost their lives too soon.
We choose what the future of this country looks like. We choose how we use our platforms, access, and power to protect, support, and uplift others. I leave you with this quote “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” - Desmond Tutu
With love, support, and fight
If anyone is looking for educational materials on anti-racism, police brutality, privilege, identity, among other topics, or additional ways to support and create change please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BLACK COMMUNITY
Coming up on June 19th, aka Juneteenth, you can actively support your local Black community because NWA Let’s Talk, our outreach team, is hosting a virtual concert for Juneteenth. This is a day and event to celebrate Black culture, liberation, and freedom. Follow NWA Let’s Talk to tune into the Livestream and stay up to date with the event.