Unity

In Unity and Solidarity

Friends,

Our nation is hurting following the senseless killing of George Floyd this past week, yet another devastating moment in our nation's history of oppression and injustice.

At Easterseals Midwest, we believe it is incumbent upon us, and every American to speak out when injustice occurs. And, as the nation's leading civil rights advocate and provider of support for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, our responsibility to stand in solidarity and voice our support and love during this time is even greater.

Our nation has indeed had a history of limiting the rights of its citizens. In the coming months, we will commemorate many milestones in the fight for equality and civil rights protections, including the 51st anniversary of the Stonewall Riots this month, the 40th anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act in July, and the centennial of Women's Suffrage and the 57th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington both in August. These moments are historical events in the ongoing civil rights movement, just like the peaceful protests happening now.

During this call to action, we should take a moment to remind ourselves of the milestones of our nation's success in correcting injustice, how these moments were accomplished, and how those lessons can be put to use today. Last night in our nation's capital and cities from coast to coast, people again stood up and demanded action. At the core of this pivotal social justice movement is the principle that we must continue to protect and uplift human dignity and be ever-vigilant in the fight for freedom and equality for all people.

It is not lost on me that this is a difficult conversation for some, but that does not make it any less urgent or essential to have. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities have faced insurmountable civil rights challenges. And, just like those who stood with us, we will stand during this moment in history and continue to fight for freedom, opportunity, and justice for all.

As Americans, if we know anything to be true, it is that freedom, opportunity, and equality are never fully won. These cornerstones of our democracy must be continually fought for - it is the responsibility of each of us as citizens and humans.  We do this for past generations, this generation, and future generations.

I leave you with this quote by Nelson Mandela, "after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb." We will keep climbing for those suffering today, and until full equality for all is achieved.

Be well, be safe, and be true to yourselves.

Wendy Sullivan

Chief Executive Officer

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