Dear NEH Family, Friends and Neighbors,
We at the Neighborhood Engagement Hub are disheartened and filled with grief at the continued loss of Black and Brown lives at the hands of police brutality and civilian hate crimes. We would like to take a moment to pay our respects to the families, friends, and neighbors of all those who have been lost and acknowledge the awesome burden they now bear as they grieve their loved ones publicly – as international symbols of this movement.
At the Neighborhood Engagement Hub we know all too well the impact of systemic racism on communities of color. In reality, if the world, if the United States of America was a more just and equitable nation, our organization would not exist. There would be no need for supporting neighborhood groups with tools, resources, training and ongoing support if the systems were created to justly, equitably, and simply respond to the community. There wouldn’t be a need for a Community Tool Shed to clean-up and maintain vacant and blighted properties if the system had not failed these neighborhoods to begin with and if all communities were viewed with dignity and respect.
These systems of structural racism continue to shape our neighborhoods and cities. They continue to redline access to nutritious foods and homeowner’s insurance in predominantly Black and Brown neighborhoods; to impact the quality of education that Black and Brown children receive; to perpetuate chronic illness and preventable death due to gaps and implicit bias in our healthcare system; and to poison Black and Brown communities with environmental toxins.
We, the Black and Brown members of the NEH board, have experienced systemic racism and discrimination our entire life. The microaggressions are innumerable and can often feel overwhelming. Those on the board who are not Black or Brown have not lived those same experiences, but would not be members of this board if they did not feel compelled to combat injustices which perpetuate those experiences. As a united board, NEH will continue to:
- Proactively focus on diversity and inclusion in our organization’s board recruitment
- Apply anti-discriminatory hiring practices
- Hold ourselves accountable to listening and following the direction of the community we serve
We continue to invite you to work with us. To hold our organization accountable to working for you, and for improved quality of life in your neighborhood.
On behalf of all of us at NEH, #BlackLivesMatter #BlackCommunitiesMatter #BlackFuturesMatter
Theresa Roach, Board Chair
Neighborhood Engagement Hub