June 4, 2020
Time to Listen and Work to Be Better Allies
A message from our CEO, Tracy Maki
Dear friends of Valley Outreach,
We continue to stand in solidarity with our community members, colleagues, supporters and partners against racism and inequity. For too many people, particularly Black, Indigenous and People of Color, the senseless killing of George Floyd highlights ongoing systemic racism and inequities they regularly experience.
Like you, we’re watching things unfold on social media and TV. And our first inclination is to dash in and help. This is heartening, yet we need to pause and listen to what people most need and shouldn’t try to fix what we haven’t yet fully taken the time to understand. We’re listening to what’s happening on the ground and staying up-to-date on the changing asks for assistance as they are evolving quickly. We know our supporters are people who want to help. Please be sure you are engaging with organizations rooted in and connected to affected neighborhoods. Valley Outreach, and our hunger relief network, is committed to coming alongside Minneapolis and St. Paul communities and colleagues to serve in ways that build on what community organizers are already doing.
We also know we have work to do to be better allies. We must do more – individually and organizationally – to continue the intentional process of dismantling racism. In the last year, our team has been reading “A Good Time for the Truth, Race in Minnesota.” It’s one of many excellent books available and an easily accessible way to begin learning. There are numerous resources with anti-racism initiatives, webinars and trainings accessible online. Consider exploring “Talking About Race” from the National Museum of African American History and Culture. If you haven’t started to examine and challenge your biases, what are you waiting for?
Let’s make it better. Together.
Sincerely and in solidarity,
Tracy Maki, CEO