It’s Black History Month — a time for celebration of Black heritage and culture, as well as recognition of the immense contributions Black people have made in shaping our nation.
And yet, here we are once again, still mired in grief and anger — most recently over the tragic death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of the police.
The juxtaposition we are living in this moment — celebration and grief; pride and anger; oppression and perseverance — is a constant reality for Black Americans.
Systemic violence against Black communities is a painful thread through our history. It is the backdrop against which Black history is retold, and despite which, Black people have thrived. To this day, we are overpoliced — not just in the streets, but in our schools, businesses and community gatherings.
As the leader of one of our region’s largest nonprofits, caring for our children has always been personal for me. This is even more true now as a new mother. I want to prepare my son for the difficulties he will experience as a Black man in America and protect him. But he will know that he comes from excellence … and from a people with a rich history and cultural tradition that deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated.
In our home, we celebrate Black History every day.
The story of Black America is not only Black History, but it is American History. And it is still being written as we continue to thrive against insurmountable odds for the sake and well-being of our children, families and communities.
I am proud to lead an organization where we work every day to ensure that every child thrives, every household is stable and that every community is equitable. Ending systemic racism is at the core of our work. This and every month, we at United Way celebrate and support Black excellence in partnership with the community— through our words, our investments, and our actions.
I hope you will join us.