Building Impact Stands In Solidarity
Building Impact stands with our Black team members, our Black families, our Black partners, our Black volunteers, our Black leaders and our Black neighbors who have felt the burden of injustice and marginalization in their daily lives for far too long. As a team, we stand in solidarity as our Black communities experience grief and rage over the senseless loss of Black lives, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and Ahmaud Arbery. We understand that their deaths came at the hands of those who failed to see a common humanity - who failed to see them as people- a father, a son, a daughter, brothers and sisters.
We stand against Black murder resulting from police brutality. Even amidst the global pandemic of Covid-19, data shows that fatal shootings by police have not slowed. Across the country, in May 2019, police shot and killed 74 people; in May of this year, police shot and killed 109 people. We stand for the Constitutional right to protest and for civic engagement.
We stand against the systemic racism and injustice we witness in the systems of criminal justice, education, healthcare, housing and access to capital every day. As an organization that facilitates volunteering, we often experience a whiplash effect of seeing just how bifurcated our city is. We are a city of poverty and plenty, where some can have anything they dream of, in a day, with a click; while others wait on long lines, with multiple applications, and multiple steps to find access to the bare necessities needed to live with the human dignity we all deserve. As a team, we recognize the importance that we do more, in our projects and programs and our team - and we will be guided by our values.
Our values inform our work. We Believe In:
- Respect for every person, regardless of their race, religion, zip code or the balance of their bank account
- Listening First to our community partners instead of defining their needs and prescribing irrelevant solutions
- Inextricable Ties we have to one another- an injustice for one is an injustice for all
- Transformative Service- it not just about giving & receiving - we transform our communities and ourselves when we learn, reflect and serve together
The compounding injustices we have seen over the past weeks, including the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 in communities of color, has bluntly revealed the realities of inequality in housing, healthcare, education, and the generational poverty our city has come to accept. However, our network denounces these disparities. We have seen a profound and renewed commitment to our work through volunteering.
And a Team, we are making these commitments to strengthen our organization & communities:
- We commit to cultivating conversations through the forums and virtual platforms for learning from one another, and making commitments to end racism
- We commit to supporting local Black-owned businesses for our purchases & referrals
- We commit to standing with and supporting local community organizations like Fathers Uplift, More Than Words, UTEC, Innercity Weightlifting, and YearUp who are bringing uplift to many and creating new pathways of opportunity for those who have been impacted by the criminal justice system
- We continue our commitment to hiring and promoting a diverse team, representative of our communities
- We continue to commit to a diverse Board of Directors that will guide our work through the diversity of their views, experience, and backgrounds
“We are who we’ve been waiting for” says our friend Robert Lewis Jr. at The Base. With the severe hunger, health and economic impact of this disease, along with the scourge of racism we see in our systems, we can’t afford to wait anymore. We join the voices calling for change, and we call on our network of volunteers to support one another in fighting for equality, and standing with our local community partners - in Boston - in Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, and in Lynn, Lawrence, Brockton, Waltham, Somerville, Cambridge, Woburn, Natick, Framingham, Burlington, Brighton, Arlington and beyond. We cultivate kindness through Education, Reflection and Service. Our democratic society works when we think not just of ourselves, but of others. We are at our best when we see the humanity of those around us.
Volunteerism is Activism.