Dear JCCA Colleagues,

I know that many of us have been closely following the trial of Derek Chauvin. But you don’t need to watch the trial to appreciate the horror of George Floyd’s death, the grief of those who witnessed the murder live, and the courage it took for them to testify about what they saw, including children. Against this backdrop, we learn about the police shootings of Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo. Heartbreak and horror once again.

Following the proceedings in court and on the news has to be extraordinarily difficult for many of us, especially for Black colleagues and for people of color. I recognize how traumatizing and visceral this moment is. As an agency, we know how important it is to support our colleagues and clients as they process, grieve, and/or take space in this heavy moment.

I pray that the outcome of the Chauvin trial is just. Having said that, racial injustice will persist. It’s a fact of American life that we must unearth and dismantle by acknowledging, reckoning, re-conceiving, and actualizing a more equitable future. JCCA has to be a part of the movement for change. As an institution, we need to be uncomfortable, to identify and address the implicit biases and resulting practices within our work and change them pro-actively. Race equity must be sewn into the fabric of JCCA’s DNA.

Thank you for continuing this work as we strive to build and strengthen opportunities for our colleagues, children, young people, and families to lead safe, healthy, and productive lives—in peace and without fear.