Greetings, Village Family –
It has been difficult to read the news lately – from the events in Charlottesville to the hurricanes that are driving thousands into homelessness. These events remind us of the racial prejudice and the economic disparities lurking beneath most conscious awareness in our country – a country where our history has left us with the problems of deeply rooted economic inequities, unconscious bias and systemic racism.
Events like those noted above can seem overwhelming or paralyzing – What should we do or say? What would make any difference at all?
What I have learned from experience and from the wisdom and guidance of others is that the best thing we can do in moments like this is to speak out and to listen up.
We speak out by talking about what happened in Charlottesville with friends and colleagues and not shying away from it. We speak out by seeking commonality with one another where we can find it, and by committing ourselves in solidarity with each other even where we don’t. We speak out because we know that silence is its own language. We listen up by asking questions and by our willingness to hear a different voice of witness. We listen up by staying teachable. We listen up by offering our minds and hearts to be continually shaped by compassion and connection.
I believe and hope that here at N Street Village we are committing ourselves to the principles of justice and courage on which our mission was founded. And I further believe that we are seeking to better understand our role in bringing about a more perfect union. And finally I hope that we are all putting the topics of racial and economic equity on the table wherever we have a voice – demonstrating our ability to counter hatred and fear with openness and vulnerability.
I am deeply proud to be a part of the N Street Village community, where we reject bigotry and seek reconciliation, where we witness acts of interpersonal justice every day, and where brave conversations are part of our DNA. Our Village is a place where transformation and renewal happen every day.
We know that change and healing are possible and that real hope is neither flimsy nor false.
I am grateful to all of you who make these things true by bringing this mission to life with your support and dedication.
Chief Executive Officer