We acknowledge that this stand involves not only understanding the past, but how the past has molded our present. We recognize that our country was built on the labor of stolen people. We recognize that centuries of oppressive and exclusionary practices have resulted in systemic racism.
We believe racism is a public health crisis. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and are more likely to experience profiling, violence, and death at the hands of the police. Ahmaud Arbery, Manuel Ellis, George Floyd, Tony McDade, and Breonna Taylor are only the most recent victims.
As we reflect on our responsibility as an anti-poverty organization, created over 100 years ago to serve new immigrants to Portland, it is clear to us that providing services is not enough. We must build an organization that is actively anti-racist and engage in action and advocacy. We must listen to communities of color as we identify and interrupt ways in which we perpetuate white supremacy. We must give power and influence to those with lived experience. We must work alongside our partners to dismantle the systems that result in disparities for people of color in justice, housing security, access to education, food security, employment, wealth building, and health outcomes.
We will be relentless in this work. We recognize we have a long way to go, and we invite you to join us.