The murder of George Floyd—sadly following the killings of Ahmaud Aubrey, Breonna Taylor, and so many before—on the heels of the pandemic leaves us sad, angry, and thirsting for justice. Nuestra and our partners in Opportunity Communities (OppCo) stand in solidarity with black and brown people in demanding justice & the end to institutional racism. Nuestra and OppCo recommit to working to resolve racial injustice that undermines the soul of our communities and our country. We stand with community leaders who are stepping forward, speaking their truth, and making clear proposals on stopping police violence against people of color. Change can’t wait any longer.
At the same time, the past three gut- wrenching months have been particularly hard for communities of color who have disproportionally borne the brunt of the twin pandemics of racism and COVID-19. In Nuestra’s communities of Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, and the other OppCo communities of Chelsea, Revere and Everett, we worry when families must go to work without adequate protection, when the rent is due and the job is shuttered, when our children’s education is interrupted, and when our parents are hospitalized. We will continue to address our neighbors’ immediate needs for food and financial assistance, and work to create a system where no one lacks for food, or has to choose between food and rent.
OppCo is a strategy to build strong community organizations to fight for immediate relief and structural change. OppCo provides a platform for locally-led member-organizations to build communities where all residents can pursue their dreams, with opportunity for all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity or sexual orientation. In order to undo structural racism, we believe it is important for change to be led by residents, and for profit to remain in the community where it is earned. We know that we cannot create opportunity communities without an end to police brutality and institutional racism. We commit to better understand how to undo racism and achieve these goals. Nuestra Comunidad and our OppCo partner, The Neighborhood Developers, commit to work with many others in our neighborhoods to create strong and racially just communities. Our resolve is only strengthened by these trials and we are encouraged and motivated by the opportunity the protests present.