June 3 at 9:54pm
A Message to Our Community
Today and every day, Interfaith Community Services stands together with our Black colleagues, clients, supporters, and entire Black community. We recognize the fear, hurt, and outrage provoked by the senseless killing of George Floyd and so many before him. We stand with our friends in the movement against racism, hate and violence.
Interfaith is built on the wisdom that all faiths and almost all perspectives add value. That when those differences come together in unity, mountains can be moved.
It is in our roots to organize the community against racism and hate. In 1979, the same faith leaders who founded Interfaith, first came together to prevent a White supremacist march that was being planned in Escondido. When they realized they could stop a hateful march from ever happening, they took to addressing other big issues in our community. By creating a model of “helping people help themselves,” they understood that, if you don’t get to the root cause of why someone needs assistance, then you can’t effectively help.
The sad reality is that hunger, poverty, homelessness, and so many other traumas in our society, are the result of hundreds of years of injustices. Take homelessness for example. While individuals identifying as Black or African American account for 5.5% of San Diego County, 27.6% of our neighbors experiencing homelessness identify as Black or African American. Every day we see the reality that the economic fallout from COVID is disproportionately hurting communities of color. This is unacceptable.
So how do we as an Interfaith Community Services family respond to the world around us awaking and surging to shake free from entrenched inequities and injustices?
We value and appreciate diverse perspectives. We bring an enlightened empathy to value all people. We bring acts of love to our work on a daily basis – whether that is helping a young family seek financial sustainability, or providing food and shelter to a desperate neighbor. Ultimately, we offer a way forward that values diversity and leads with the reality that we cannot address our biggest human flaws without the wisdom created by us coming together.
Most importantly, we do not allow for hate, racism, or violence to be part of our community. We oppose those in every sense of the word.
Rather, we acknowledge and actively seek the partnership of not just people who agree with us, but most importantly those who we disagree with. We identify common points among us all – that there is no reason for people to go hungry or homeless, and certainly not at higher rates for communities of color – and we work together to help people overcome those challenges on an individual by individual basis.
One thing is certain, we will get through this together. We will acknowledge and value the opinions and feelings of others, especially everyone most impacted by the events of this last week. And we will work together to continue delivering the essential services necessary to overcome the inequities and injustices of our world. Thank you for being part of our mission.
Chief Executive Officer
Interfaith Community Services