On May 25th we watched with horror the murder of Mr. George Floyd as an officer held a knee on his neck while he begged to breathe. Another senseless death in a long list of lives lost to unmitigated police brutality. Over the last few months, we have witnessed the scourge of a pandemic rage through our communities leaving an unprecedented trail of death and despair in its path. Let me be clear about this: both are a direct result of generational, institutional and systemic racism fueled by impunity.
Our work at Thrive DC is about trying to meet the deep and abiding needs created by a myriad of inequities faced by the poor, the disenfranchised, the sick, as well as immigrants, women, and people of color. The effects of inequitable housing, food insecurity, healthcare disparities, unjust legal systems, toxic employment practices and more, continue to torment already vulnerable communities. The people we serve, have been beaten down repeatedly. They come to us when they are at the end of their proverbial ropes. Our clients live every day with a knee on their neck.
For more than 40 years Thrive DC has worked to lift people up from the anguish of homelessness, poverty, hunger, chronic unemployment and mental as well as physical illness. We serve men and women who live on the edge because they have been set adrift by the effects of deep-rooted discriminatory systems, people and practices. The incessant hardships faced by our clients are rarely linked to the kind of horrific violence we saw take George Floyd’s life and the lives of so many others. But they stem from the same grievous, bigoted, soul stealing, prejudice that maims and kills.
The outpour of anger and frustration that we have seen in the streets across America over the last week is a culmination of fear and despair created by those who have upheld a system of hate and inequity for far too long. We join the peaceful protesters and say, enough! The crowds roar and we at Thrive DC share their heartfelt sentiment. We stand in solidarity with the changemakers, we support the transformers, and we will continue to be “At the Heart of a New Start,” which is at the core of our mission, for the thousands of people we serve every year.
Now more than ever, Thrive DC doubles down and recommits to be an active participant in creating the social change that is desperately needed for developing new frameworks, perspectives and practices free of bigotry that implicitly and overtly dehumanize and destroy. We are emboldened by the momentum and the energy that so many feel, and we hope that you are too. Join us in our work to serve, rebuild lives and advocate for just policies!