FCA Standing for Social Justice
All of us at FCA wish we had the right words to soothe the pain, despair, fear, exhaustion and outrage so many are feeling in the wake of George Floyd’s brutal murder.
We are not sure such words exist, but we do know that injustices such as these demand we reaffirm our commitment to racial, ethnic, social and economic equity, in both our words and our actions.
For 135 years, our services have been delivered through a lens of social justice, making sure that the most vulnerable in a region known for its segregation have safe places to live and learn, enough food to eat, access to high quality mental health services and a fighting chance at success. At the same time, we’ve challenged our community leaders, elected officials and institutions, simultaneously educating them, creating partnerships, demanding accountability and honoring courage.
During the last 10 weeks, our staff and volunteers have stepped-up in unprecedented ways to address the COVID-19 pandemic. As we eye a “return to normal,” our nation, state and Island are in turmoil, struggling with another pandemic that's just as deadly and insidious as COVID-19 - America's longstanding racism and systematic oppression. COVID-19 laid bare the health care disparities that we collectively ignored for too long and now an eight minute video has put America's racism on full display. For those of us who are white, our skin color has been our PPE, shielding us from the inequality, injustice and pain that so many of our black and brown brothers and sisters are suffering.
As one of Long Island’s oldest and largest nonprofits, FCA’s skills, experience, resources and services have never been more critical, but we also know that we don’t have all the answers.
We see this as time when people—our clients, our staff, volunteers and partners— need to be heard. We are uniquely skilled at bearing witness to the powerful, sometimes conflicted and complicated emotions people are experiencing. We will provide a safe, welcoming environment that not only allows them to vent, but encourages constructive - and perhaps difficult or challenging - conversations. We’re starting with our 340 staff and then we will move into our schools, houses of worship and communities, steadfast in our belief that we can transform this moment of collective pain, anger and fury into lasting and innovative solutions. The only thing we want more than peace and reconciliation is a new “normal” grounded in justice.
- Dr. Jeffrey L. Reynolds, June 2, 2020