This year has begun with challenges no one could have imagined, and we are deeply saddened by the unnecessary killing of George Floyd and grieve for his family and community. The violent act of inhumanity that took George Floyd’s life magnifies the struggles that black Americans face each day due to systemic racism, economic oppression, and inequality.
For fifty years, Hastings Family Service has welcomed and served neighbors who need assistance with their basic needs of food, housing, clothing and transportation. We have worked hard to build connections and share resources that help neighbors of all races to thrive, and our area communities have generously supported our mission of “reaching out as family in support and service to one another.” HFS is committed to evaluating systems and service delivery to improve and encourage diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the organization. Breakthrough change must happen. It is a time to mourn and it is a time to act, to tirelessly and continually pursue and obtain justice and equality.
To help create lasting change, we must first recognize that racism and inequality exist in Minnesota, in Dakota County, and in our local communities. The protests across the state, country and world demand change and justice, and a shared humanity where every person is equally valued and protected. HFS and organizations across all sectors play a critical role in dismantling the systems that perpetuate inequality in our society. We are committed to listening and learning about the needs of our community and to tenaciously follow our words with concrete actions that create and support change.
As an organization and as individuals, we must also take action to learn, understand, and question how bias and privilege, intentional or unintentional, may be present in our workplaces, neighborhoods, schools and communities. Together, we must take an anti-racist stand, strengthen relationships, develop appreciation and respect for the cultural diversity that creates vibrant communities, and be the change in the world that brings equality and hope for a better future for all people including black and brown neighbors in our communities.
“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change; I am changing the things I cannot accept.” -Angela Davis