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Dear Friends,

What a time to be alive! Should that be a question, statement, scream, or declaration? Amidst a global pandemic, people of color continue to be exposed to the other deadly virus, systematic racism. It seems the only thing that has broken the pandemic lockdown is the shattering of chains that have bound communities of color for hundreds of years. In response to the most recent acts of injustice, we have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, concern, and commitment of love from friends, allies, and community partners. Inevitably, the conversations we have, end with the question, what can we do?

What a question, conundrum, and challenge! Although we do not speak on behalf of all communities of color across America, our answer is to do as much as YOU can.  Here are a few of our suggestions:

  • Understand your privilege. With each loving act of kindness, consideration, and compassion you extend, it is a privilege afforded to those who have benefited from the unequal and unjust systems currently in place. Privilege is a double-edged sword, cutting both ways but often not evenly. Should your sincere efforts not be received as you intended, be willing to listen, apologize, and correct. A traumatized community is struggling to be heard and have their concerns validated.
  • Be vigilant in your work to combat racism. The same level of compassion and support you extend to your community of color should be met with the same level of disdain and opposition to the racism that may exist within your community that excludes people of color. Confront those in your community who make racist jokes, operate in the fear of others, or denigrate the intelligence and ability of people of color.
  • Financially support agencies and businesses of color. If you are impacted by the events in Minneapolis or other areas, support grassroots organizations that are doing meaningful work that align with your beliefs. Go beyond the “Top 10” or the quickest web search results.  Often the hardest,  most meaningful work is being done by the smaller agencies or programs that cannot create a significant web presence.

    These are a few suggestions that may help us create communities where health, wealth, and equality flourish. Stay in the fight (although at a responsible, social distance), stay connected, and most of all stay safe.  Jammat means Community!

    Best regards,

    Jammat Board