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Healing the Wounds of Racism

As a country, we are experiencing turbulent times that have created uncertainty, fear and a general feeling of being overwhelmed. These same worries and fears exist in Butler County too. Here at Family Promise of Butler County, we too are unsure as to what to say or do and are also feeling sad and overwhelmed. Racism has no place in our society. It is ugly, involves hatred and ruins lives.  Racial injustice plays a significant role in family homelessness. For families of color, lack of quality education prevents them from being able to attend college or even obtain stable employment. Families who live in fear of being targeted also struggle with mental health issues. At Family Promise of Butler County, 49% of the families we serve are of color. This is a major issue across the country and even here in Butler County. So, what can we do to help comfort those who are feeling shut out and heal the wounds of those who have been injured by racism? First and foremost, we need to listen, and educate ourselves on the issues surrounding racism. I know that I don’t know what it feels like to be judged by the color of my skin. So, while I am empathetic to the concerns, I truly don’t understand them. I have decided to have significant conversations with my friends who are of color and to really listen to what they have to say. I am being very intentional with this. I am also reading books and articles that explore this issue. I just finished reading White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo and watched the movie The Hate You Give. Both have given me some great insight. We need to speak out against injustices. Everyone deserves to be heard, and treated fairly, with dignity and respect. Maya Angelou tells us, “Develop enough courage so that you can stand up for yourself, and then stand up for someone else.” This is our time to be courageous and stand up for others. Finally, we must love. By loving others, we can begin to understand what it is like to walk in their shoes, to know how they feel, and then be able to stand with them. Love covers so many obstacles and brings us closer to those around us. I want to encourage each and every one of you to step out of your comfort zone, be courageous and stand up for what’s right. Remember, love wins every time! Blessings! Linda Smith

Executive Director

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