I have been in many conversations with employees at The Arc Montgomery County about the atrocity committed against George Floyd. This was a crime against not just one man, but against an entire segment of our population and it is simply unacceptable.
It is a scary time in our country and I am sad that in 2020 we are still facing the same discrimination, racial injustices, and hatred which occurred during the 1960’s when I was growing up. I remember my dad working in DC, where he was boarding up stores that were looted in the aftermath of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination. Dad would drive into the city every night answering emergency calls, and our black neighbors would offer to ride along with him.
I was lucky to have close contact with a family who spoke openly about racial injustice and parents who taught their children to accept everyone, regardless of color or ethnicity or religious background. These are values I carry in my heart today and which I try to implement through my work.
I cannot know how it feels to be a black person facing injustice and police brutality, but I can sympathize and stand up for what I know is right. Black people face inequities in every facet of their lives–job opportunities, health care access, equal pay, and education. Black lives matter and this inequality needs to stop now.
I stand in solidarity with black people around the world, as represented in our diverse workforce, and commit to doing my part to end suppression, racial injustice and racial disparities. I invite you to join me in taking social responsibility for the future of our nation by listening, learning, and taking action.
-Chrissy Shawver, CEO of The Arc Montgomery County