The Maryland Statewide Independent Living Council fully acknowledges a devastating reality that is grossly affecting the world which we live in, one of inequity and injustice—leaving in its wake tragedy, pain, sadness, anger, fear, and generations of disturbingly persistent inequality and immense divide. This is a crisis owned by all, whose consequences disproportionately affect the lives of African American men and women in our communities. This tragedy has lived in the fabric of our culture and structure of our communities since the dawn of our republic. The lives impacted are innumerable, the depth of its effects incalculable.
We cannot accept this reality. We must demand better of ourselves and of our society. Empathy, compassion, and care are perhaps the most important qualities we can nurture within ourselves and others. We must shine the light of these virtues into the darkness of hatred, racism, and destruction that tears our communities apart. But acknowledging inequity and injustice is not enough. We must do more. We must participate and be part of the change. Each of us individually, and collectively as a society.
At MSILC, our work together to change this reality has never been more important. We will continue to confront our personal biases and work to address the impact they have on our behaviors and each other. We will push past fear and discomfort to have the dialogue necessary to better understand and empathize with one another. And we will take action to support an environment of equity, inclusion, and belonging at MSILC and in the communities that we serve.
We stand alongside our African American members, employees, providers, partners, and communities—committing ourselves to take action to ensure equity for each and every person in our society.
We will listen. We will learn. We will act.