In light of the events that have transpired this week in both Buffalo and across our Nation, I would like to take a moment to recognize the significance of what has brought us to this point as a society. The protests are merely a symptom of injustices that have been ignored for far too long in our society by oppressing people of color. These have manifested themselves not only in the horrific event that took George Floyd’s life and so many others, but also in barriers to education and economic success.
As an organization, we stand by the protesters as they voice the unrest that has been silenced for so long. It is time for change and we believe we can make the change together. We believe people are overwhelmingly good, but may not understand the right approach or correct words to say. That said, this is not a simple issue to fix. We must remember the path to resolution will be long and difficult. We must remain resolute in our desire to live in and create a better world for everyone, of every color and background. A world that celebrates our diversity while ensuring opportunity for all.
WEDI remains committed to assisting the underserved and marginalized to achieve economic success through owning a small business and for students to reach their highest potential in a system that was not designed to meet their needs. We are committed to continuing to work tirelessly to achieve our mission. Success is a world that no longer needs WEDI.
We are all shook from this week and the issues that have led to where we are today. It is understandable to be angry, anxious, sad, and even disappointed where we are currently as a society. So many things are happening in our world that we’ve never experienced before in our lifetimes. But, we will persevere. We will do this difficult work to make our society a better place for everyone and create a more just world. It is time to finish the work that was started so long ago. We must remember to honor the voices that have long been oppressed and unheard. The only way to affect change in a meaningful way is to really hear what these voices have to say and act by standing together. Until we really listen, there can not be understanding.
"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
If you choose to protest, we stand with you. Please be safe, keep hope alive, and know that together we affect change that is necessary and long overdue.
Carolynn Welch, Executive Director and the WEDI team
Here are some links to get involved:
Join or donate to a local organization focused on racial equity and justice like Black Love Resists in the Rust, Juneteenth Buffalo, Food for the Spirit, DOPE Collective, Black Lives Matter, Showing Up for Racial Justice and many, many more.