Like all of you in our extended Shepherd’s Table family, I was horrified at the images of George Floyd being killed by police officers in Minneapolis on May 25th. Coupled with the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, GA and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, KY, George Floyd’s death was a stark reminder of the violent oppression and racial hatred Black people still face in this Country, despite so many civil rights victories since the 1960’s and the election of the nation’s first Black president in 2008.
Clearly, we still have significant work to do as a nation, to heal the wounds of our violent upbringing and right the wrongs of the past. A key part of that healing process involves building relationships across the racial and class divide, which is something we witness thousands of our volunteers doing every day, including during COVID-19.
As an organization, Shepherd’s Table stands in solidarity with the Black community – our colleagues, volunteers, supporters, clients, meal guests, partners and neighbors – and all who are hurting. As an organization committed to fighting against homelessness and hunger for 36+ years, we have keen insights into the effects of racial discrimination in the lives of the community we serve. While only 18% of Montgomery County’s residents are African American, they make up over 50% of the clients and meal guests that we serve every day. This speaks volumes about the injustices that the community has faced for generations.
We stand with you – today, every day, and everywhere in the fight against racism and systematic inequity.