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by Taylor Howard on Monday June 15, 2020
United We Stand

Dear Team,

I recognize and want to acknowledge the pain and challenges we are facing as a community and as a country. The murder of George Floyd is egregious and horrible. The continued acts of violence, injustice, and intolerance towards people of color, most notably African American men and women, cannot continue. 

While as a country many of us have come together over the past months to help combat the most significant global health crisis of our lifetime, a deep division remains as evident by the activities over the last several days. It is a scary and sobering time.

I don’t pretend to have all of the answers, but I do know this: you are valued, valuable, and deserving of respect and dignity. The truth is that we all are worthy of kindness and fairness.  No one should have to live in a world where the color of their skin, beliefs, or identity puts them in a position of danger, disrespect, or disadvantage.

As we work to dismantle systems of injustice and ensure that all people are allowed to live a life of worth and value, it is our responsibility to continue to practice empathy and demonstrate compassion. We must embrace each other’s differences, and recognize our collective humanity.

We must support each other and be responsible for one another. We must respect each other fully and unconditionally and be kind to one another at every possible moment. We must look out for each other, and those in positions of privilege or power must speak up when witnessing injustice.

We must teach our children, our grandchildren, our nieces, our nephews and all those young people whom we mentor and support, and all who hold the future in their hands, that who they are is to be cherished and celebrated and that all people are worthy of the same love and respect.

We all can continue to learn, grow, and do better.  I'm always here to listen, to work with and alongside you, and support you.

With the utmost respect and admiration,

John Couris