From Charlotte Haberaecker, President and CEO of Lutheran Services in America
Our conviction that diversity is our strength, unity our biggest hope, and equity for all people throughout America must be demanded and achieved has never been more true — nor more deeply felt — than over this past week. George Floyd’s senseless death, like the countless people before him struck down by systemic racism, must be more than yet another wake-up call.
Damyn Kelly, President and CEO of Lutheran Social Services of New York, is correct when he emphasizes the obligation we all have to “not only act in ways that enhance quality of life for those we serve, but also to speak out against injustice when we see or experience it… We must continue to explore our personal biases against those who are different.”
As a faith-based community, we honor, respect and heed the voices in America crying out in pain, frustration and anger. In lifting high and responding to those voices, we not only have the collective opportunity to fix as a nation what has been so wrong for so long, but the imperative to do so. Doing so will require not only listening carefully and personal commitments to battle inequity and racism at every turn, but creating related policy improvements that so directly impact communities nationwide.
As people of faith, we pray and speak for hope, healing, justice and peace. As Lutheran social ministry, God’s grace and care for our neighbor — central tenets of our heritage — inform our commitment to dismantling inequity. Acting to build a stronger future — one that is fair, just and will deliver meaningful change for us all — will make our communities and nation immeasurably stronger.
About Lutheran Services in America
Lutheran Services in America is the national network of Lutheran social ministry organizations — connecting over 300 nonprofit health and human service providers located throughout the country. Recognized by The Chronicle of Philanthropy and Forbes as one of the nation’s largest nonprofits, the Lutheran Services in America network operates with more than $22 billion in annual revenue and over 250,000 member employees. Together, the network lifts up the nation’s most vulnerable people from children to seniors — making a difference in the lives of one in 50 Americans every year. To learn more, please visit www.lutheranservices.org.