EMCC’s response to the unrest

Out of many, one.

A motto known to the faithful citizens of this great nation, understandably for so many of us those words ring hollow as our Country’s unfortunate dissent toward greater division abounds.

The events of this week, highlighted by the brazen attempted insurrection of aggrieved citizens fearful of a nation that values its diversity, have reminded us all that a “more perfect” union remains far out of reach.

Honest brokers must accept the truth that this divided nation has been exposed as one where inequity and injustice remains apparent. Just this week, while we watched a mob comfortably ransack and vandalize the halls of Congress, taking selfies with law enforcement in some cases no less; we also watched as no charges were filed in the police shooting of Jacob Blake, who was struck seven times in the back at close range.

These inequities drive our passion for continued advocacy and dialogue toward a society whose promise of equal access, treatment and opportunity is limited only by the small mindedness of those seeking to hold onto flawed systems. Equal justice under the law should not be a phrase that smacks of hypocrisy when those that engage in riotous or seditious behavior are not held to account.

At the same time, as citizens we cannot allow the constant reminders of inequity to desensitize us in a manner where such adversity remains normalized. We simply cannot give into the cynicism that stifles meaningful progress. Admittedly, the events of this new year, coupled with a pandemic where we are nearing the loss of 400,000 of our fellow citizens, are more than enough to give into despair. But our resiliency is as defining a trait as the imperfections that have sown this division. And we will prevail.

For the past 80 years, the Edna Martin Christian Center’s work has represented much more than the programs and services we have been blessed to provide. Empowerment, equity and social justice is implied in our mandate as a beacon of hope to our community. Our work is meant to be transformative, and as such we must continue to affect the positive change that we have been blessed to offer through our rich history. We seek to ensure those we are humbled to serve are not only afforded critical supports, but also recognize the role we all play in the cultivation of a community where all are respected. We will continue to support and promote dialogue that addresses the ills that ravage our society and our most underserved citizens in particular.

Unnecessary loss of life can never be overlooked, and our deepest sympathies and prayers go to the victims and families of the violence we have seen this week. We likewise pray for our nation, ever recognizing that through God, the adversity that seems never ending will soon give way to a brighter tomorrow. Our Lord gives us nothing we cannot overcome, still we recognize faith without works is truly dead. For our part, the Edna Martin Christian Center remains grateful for the awesome privilege to stand in the gap at this moment in history.

Barato Britt