Dear United to Learn Family:
Knowing that we will not all be together in person until the fall, I wanted to reach out and acknowledge the gravity of the events that have transpired across our country and our city over the last week. Please know that as I write this message, as both a parent and community member, I am filled with sadness, outrage, and frustration.
We all recognize the horrific loss of George Floyd was not an isolated incident, but one of the several heinous and racist acts we have witnessed recently. The losses of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Atatiana Jefferson, Botham Jean, and the countless others fuel our collective disgust. I know from our prior interactions that you too recognize the centuries of injustice that plague people of color, creating a grave trail of inequities and prolonged policies of institutional racism across our country. The recent events are a reminder of our purpose within the community. Over the weekend, I exchanged messages with a wise friend and personal hero, Dr. Terry J. Flowers. He shared a prayer, and a particular line struck me.
“Lord, forgive us for missing the mark sixty years ago when we inadequately pivoted as a nation towards tolerance for one another when we should have embraced LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER.” – Dr. Terry J. Flowers, Perot Family Headmaster of St. Philip’s School and Community Center.
The last few days have been difficult but I am heartened to know our communities will not remain silent at these evil, unconscionable acts. During public protests, on-air interviews, backyard talks, dinner table conversations, and even office Zoom calls the deplorable injustice is being called out. I am thankful United to Learn holds Dr. Flowers’ aspiration in each of our hearts as well.
My lived experience is not yours, so I know not how these events are impacting you, your family, parents and children, and your closest friends. I have struggled with my own emotions over the last few days, and understand you too may need time to process and focus. Please know we are here for each other. So as you consider friends, neighbors, or pastors to lean on also consider United to Learn, and know I am here for you too.
As our work continues we aim to create safe spaces to share with each other, listen to each other, and learn from each other’s perspectives. I am hopeful that humanity shall prevail, and LOVE will conquer this brutal hate. Truly, our country and our children deserve our continued efforts towards collective understanding. THANK YOU for contributing to our efforts in this city as we shift mindsets through action and foster relationships that transcend intolerance and embrace LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER.
With humility and gratitude,