As we know from the Race Consciousness work we do at JCCA, racism is not limited to nasty epithets, white hoods, and yellow stars. It can also manifest itself in subtle ways. But when institutionalized intolerance creates space for individual hate, it is particularly terrifying. We are all too familiar with the political and historical parallels of this period, in this country and overseas. As in previous moments, our feelings of uncertainty and fear are balanced by the knowledge that we are on the side of justice. We unite not in fear but in our condemnation of the forces that embolden racism and anti-Semitism.
“Repair the world, child by child.” That’s our tagline, and it informs everything we do—from social work on the front lines to data entry in our Finance department. We focus on children, on how can we make their lives brighter, their supports stronger, and their futures sustainable. But it is as adults that we must do this work of repairing the world. We stand in solidarity with those fighting injustice in Charlottesville and elsewhere, and we work hand in hand with families and communities, to make this world a better place for our children.
In moments such as these, we at JCCA must first and foremost prioritize the children and families in our care. Many of you may remember the famous Mr. Rogers quote: “Always look for the helpers.” He meant that in dark times, we find hope by looking for those who make a difference. Our clients represent the very targets of the hate we are seeing in places like Charlottesville, Charleston and Orlando. We are the helpers.
I wish all of you courage and strength. May we all soon find some measure of justice and peace.
Ronald. E. Richter, CEO