A message from our President and CEO, Darienne D. Hudson, Ed.D.:
On Aug. 28, 1963, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood before 250,000 marchers in Washington, D.C., calling for racial equity and equal rights for Black Americans. Almost 60 years later, our nation continues to struggle with the deep-seated racism that permeates our culture. Too many are still marginalized, targeted and oppressed.
Last week, Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. This shooting is just the latest display of violence against Blacks at the hands of police.
Now, protesters have taken to the streets in cities across the U.S., calling for change. The protests have reached new heights as athletes in the MLB, NBA and NHL speak out in solidarity with the movement. In Milwaukee, where I lived for six years before coming back to Detroit, the Milwaukee Bucks refused to play in protest over the shooting of Blake. I have never been so proud of them. The Bucks, led by my good friend, President Peter Feigin, are advocates for the community on and off the court. When I served Milwaukee as superintendent, we relied heavily on their partnership and passion for serving children and their families. Peter and the Bucks never shied away from controversy in the name of progress and neither will we.
Here in Detroit, protests have continued for more than 30 days, and our professional sports teams are taking a stand. The Lions canceled practice on Tuesday and instead spent the day in protest, discussing the shooting of Blake. On Thursday night, the Tigers and the Minnesota Twins also canceled their game in solidarity.
Today, as a new generation continues the ongoing fight for equality, we stand in solidarity with the message of Dr. King; with the people marching for change in Washington, D.C., and communities across the country; with the family of Jacob Blake and with every other family and community torn apart by racism and violence. We all must lean in as leaders and make it known that we are intentional about creating lasting change.
United Way for Southeastern Michigan is committed to deconstructing systemic racism and institutional bias while promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion as core values in every aspect of our work.
In the coming weeks, you will hear more from us about how we intend to put actions to our words. Today, we ask you to Stand United for Equity with us. In order to ensure that all communities have unobstructed access to all rights, benefits, privileges, freedoms, and protections, everyone must be heard and be counted. If you haven’t already done so, register to vote, fill out your census, and remind your neighbors to do the same. Then, read more about our commitment to combatting racism and bias and commit to join us.
United, we can build stronger, more equitable communities where every household is stable and every child can thrive.