Over the past few months, we have been in a very challenging time together. In our correspondence and conversations with one another, we have used words like “unprecedented” and “impossibly difficult” to describe the circumstances of living through this global pandemic. We have all been stretched, challenged, and changed forever by what we have experienced over these months: professionally, personally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally.
And yet, we find ourselves in another unprecedented and difficult moment in American society and in history. The unlawful taking of George Floyd's life, and the resulting protests and violence in communities across Chicagoland and Rockford, as well as across America, is touching each and every one of our lives.
I have struggled over the past days to write this statement. I felt fearful to write, given the many viewpoints that are held across American society about these issues. Sometimes, in instances like this, fear paralyzes us. Because we are afraid to say the wrong thing, we say nothing at all. But this is not leadership. Leadership requires courage. Leadership requires voice; not only in the times when the words come easily to us, but when words escape us; perhaps especially when words escape us.
And so, to guide my writing, I reflected on the mission of Easterseals. It is a mission of service. It is a mission of caring for communities and people. The mission rises above our political beliefs about who is right and who is wrong. It simultaneously condemns the unlawful taking of life of our Black community members, mourns with and embraces the family of George Floyd, and is supportive of the many police officers who protect our community and are committed to ethical and just practices. Our mission embraces expressions of resistance born out of injustice while also embracing the protection and rebuilding of communities. In the current divisive political climate, holding these viewpoints simultaneously may feel impossible. At Easterseals however, If we are to serve our clients and community, it is real. These occurrences are a reminder that our work, our responsibility, calls us to rise above the divisive political climate in which we exist in order to serve: the work is bigger than all of us.
Our employees at Easterseals serving Chicagoland and Rockford stand together and ready to support our clients, families, and the communities in which we serve and work. We do not underestimate the positive impact and influence we can have with those we serve right now. We will be creative and selfless in our giving.
At Easterseals serving Chicagoland and Rockford, we stand together against racism and injustice. We stand together in support of communities. We stand ready to continue to meet the needs of the families, individuals, and communities we serve in these difficult times.