A JOINT STATEMENT FROM MEMBERS OF THE WORCESTER TOGETHER COALITION

Together we rise, together we stand, and together we change. On behalf of the Worcester Together Coalition, comprising more than 100 individuals and organizations formed in response to the COVID-19 crisis, we rise and we stand in condemnation of the brutal acts perpetrated by Minneapolis police officers in the murder of George Floyd. We stand in the name of countless Black lives lost at the hands of police and civil vigilantes and in the name of all Communities of Color that have and continue to experience institutional inequity and brutality. We seek to create and make change to shift the oppressive imbalances in our country in the name of all Communities of Color that have experienced profound loss including for George Floyd, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Alton Sterling, Sandra Bland, Botham Jean, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and for whom their families and communities have endured deep pain, anger, frustration, and fear because of systemic racism and inequity.

Silence is not an option.  Action is paramount.  Worcester Together has demonstrated our ability to act and respond in crisis through COVID-19.  Today, we speak aloud in disgust and with deep sorrow for our community and our country, and to leverage our collective and unified power to act and make change.   The devastating racial disparities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic are intrinsically related to our nation’s history of white supremacy and structural racism. It is a legacy that we must reject and dismantle.  As we seek to address the COVID-19 crisis and to build a fair and just “new normal” we commit ourselves to these principles in all that we do, both individually and collectively:

  1. We will acknowledge the reality of white supremacism in our history and its insidious presence in our institutions, public school system, police department, community based organizations, and ways of doing business and will facilitate courageous conversations and frank discussion of the issues at hand as a community. We will recognize our inadvertent complicity in the perpetuation of this injustice.
  2. We will approach every initiative, policy or program that we undertake as an opportunity to dismantle racism. We will do this explicitly and embrace accountability for our results.
  3. We will consistently and promptly identify, name, question, and actively resist and denounce policies in our criminal justice, law enforcement, education and health institutions that injure people of color and deprive them of the opportunity to participate fully in the life of our community.
  4. We will center, elevate and defer to voices of People of Color and support the economic advancement of Communities of Color by using our collective purchasing power to support locally owned Black, Latino, and immigrant businesses.

We are fallible humans acting in the name of humanity and cannot do this work alone. Please join us as we work together to create equity, shape and change our community and our country’s course.

The Worcester Together Coalition as signed by:

Action! by Design Mechanics Hall, Worcester County Mechanics Assoc.
Alex M. Mooradian, Esq. Michael Sleeper, Imperial Distributors
Ascentria Care Alliance Mission E4
Billy Fitzpatrick, College of the Holy Cross, 2020 Naomi Sleeper, Imperial Distributors
Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor National Grid
Boys & Girls Club of Worcester Open Sky Community Services
Candy Mero-Carlson City Councilor, District 2 Organization for Nonprofit Excellence (ONE Worcester)
Central Mass Housing Alliance Pernet Family Health Service
CENTRO Project New Hope Inc.
Coalition for a Healthy Greater Worcester Quinsigamond Community College
Coghlin Electrical Contractors, Inc. Regional Environmental Council of Central MA
Coghlin Network Services, Inc. Senator Ed Markey
Community Health Link Senator Harriette L. Chandler
Congressman Jim McGovern Seven Hills Foundation & Affiliates
Department of Children and Families, Worcester East Southeast Asian Coalition
Department of Youth Service, Central Region State Representative James O’Day
Dress for Success Worcester State Representative John J. Mahoney
Ed Augustus, City Manager, Worcester Straight Ahead Ministries
Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center The Clemente Course in the Humanities, Worcester
Edward Street Child Services The Guild of St. Agnes
Elder Services of Worcester The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory for the Performing Arts
Emma Davison, College of the Holy Cross, 2021 Together for Kids Coalition
Face Mask Working Group – Mutual Aid Worcester UMass Memorial Health Care
Friendly House United Way of Central Massachusetts
Gina Plata-Nino, Esq. University of Massachusetts Medical School
Greater Worcester Community Foundation University of Massachusetts Medical School
Habitat for Humanity MetroWest/Greater Worcester Worcester Addresses Childhood Trauma
HOPE Coalition Worcester Chamber Music Society/Neighborhood Strings
Imperial Distributors Worcester Community Action Council
Jeremiah’s Inn Worcester Community Connections of YOU, Inc.
Joe Ertle, College of the Holy Cross Worcester Cultural Coalition
Journey Community Church, Revs. Tom Sparling, Paul Joyal, Lou Soiles Worcester Education Collaborative
Kimberly Salmon, Worcester Resident Worcester Education Equity Roundtable
Latino Education Institute Worcester Family Partnership
Legendary Legacies Inc Worcester Housing Authority
Living In Freedom Together-LIFT Worcester Interfaith
Love Your Labels Worcester Public Schools
Main South Community Development Corporation Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Mark Richman, Professor, WPI Worcester State University
MassHIRE Central Career Centers Worcester Telegram and Gazette
MassHIRE Central Region Workforce Board YMCA of Central Massachusetts
Mayor Joseph M. Petty YWCA Central Massachusetts

 

YWCA Central Massachusetts is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families and strengthen our community. YWCA Central Massachusetts is part of an international movement serving over 2 million in the United States and 25 million worldwide. For comprehensive information about this important work, go to: www.ywcacm.org and www.ywca.org.

Sophie Cannon
Marketing & Resource Development Associate
E scannon@ywcacm.org