OP-ED: ‘We Recognize Our Responsibility in Helping Dismantle Institutional & Systemic Racism’

By Judith G. Salerno

NATICK – We are deeply saddened and angered by the recent senseless acts of police brutality and racist violence against people of color throughout the country.

As an organization, our work these past few months has been directed toward the global health pandemic, and while our work with Covid-19 is far from over, there is another epidemic happening simultaneously in our country that needs to be countered with the same force and solidarity— racism.  

While the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and many others may seem distant from our community, our recent indicators project, has shown us that significant systemic disparities continue to exist for communities of color in our region.

Whether it is income, education or access to healthcare, these underlying systemic issues must be addressed in order to create equity for our black and brown neighbors, both in MetroWest and this country. 

As an organization we recognize our responsibility in helping dismantle institutional and systemic racism, and we are committing to the significant work that needs to be done. 

We hope that you join us and the many others that have committed to making change happen because we are stronger together.

Words are not enough at this time. It is our actions moving forward that will make a difference.  

As a first step, we will be muting all Foundation-related content on our social media channels in the coming days to allow the voices of advocates and activists on these platforms to be amplified, while sharing relevant information as appropriate. 

We will continue to educate ourselves on systemic injustices, serve as an ally for the communities of color in MetroWest and across America, and do our part to create meaningful change. Our neighbors deserve this commitment from us.

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Judith Salerno has served as Executive Director of the Foundation since September 2007. A lifelong resident of MetroWest, Judy is originally from Sudbury, and has resided in Wellesley for more than 30 years.

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