A Letter from Healthier Together on Racial Injustice

 

 
Dear Friends, Neighbors, Colleagues and the Palm Beach County Community,
 
We’re writing to you as residents of Palm Beach County. As sons and daughters, mothers and fathers. As black and white neighbors in this community. We’re writing because we’re humans bearing witness to deep racial injustices and want to be part of real change.  
 
Like so many millions of people across the United States and the world, we’re writing with heavy hearts, and complicated, wide-ranging emotions. Fear. Anger. Outrage. Despair. Hopelessness. Optimism. Hope.
 
We want to linger on hope, but hope isn’t enough. It has never been enough to adequately address the longstanding, deep-seated racism that has flourished in the United States over the last 4-5 centuries and still lives today.
 
Now is the time to show up for our black community. To lean in and listen. To create, nurture and hold spaces to wrestle with injustices that have consistently and historically targeted our black brothers and sisters.
 
As leaders in the Healthier Together initiative, which shares and builds power in communities of color, we’re standing together at this critical moment to build on awareness of racial injustice and generate action to make our community, and this nation, better.  
 
In recent days, there are encouraging signs that momentum may be building to impact change. We’re encouraged by the direct conversations about racial inequities from across diverse sectors. We’re encouraged by the number of white people participating in peaceful protests and speaking out to generate solutions. We’re encouraged by the community’s genuine interest in creating a movement for just and equitable policies and practices that will lead to safety and dignity for all. 
 
We will build on this momentum by continuing to educate ourselves. Unhindered by organizational and political interests and driven only by human-to-human connection, we will listen and learn, test our own biases and assumptions and push against the visible and invisible barriers that hold racist practices in place. We will have hard conversations with our family and friends and in our communities and work environments, places of worship and learning institutions. 
 
We, like the other Palm Beach County-based initiatives engaged in race equity work, don’t have the answers and we can’t know where the solutions will come from. But we can create and hold the space for people to come together to talk, to listen, to learn, to feel, to be heard and to bear witness.
 
We also believe that when there is space to explore, solutions can and will emerge, calling for pathways for change.
 
To our black sisters and brothers: we see you, we hear you and we’re standing with you.
 
To our white sisters and brothers: don’t rest on encouragement and hope – lean in, get uncomfortable and do your part to disrupt the racial injustices plaguing our country. Now is the time. 
 
Sincerely,
 
Jeanette Marshall, Healthier Neighbors
Carmelle Marcelin-Chapman, Healthier Lake Worth Beach
Kenya Madison, Healthier Delray Beach
Joanna Peluso, Healthier Jupiter
Antoinita Ifill, Healthier Glades
 
 

Please connect with each of the Healthier Together communities on social media to be updated on upcoming conversations and opportunities to learn and grow together. Click on each of the logos below to be directed to their respective pages.