NCO Stands Against Systemic Racism
Monday, September 14, 2020
Today our nation is faced with a moment that calls on each of us, separately and together, to stand in solidarity with all LatinX, Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). NCO has always advocated for a world without racism and we will continue to do so, now more than ever. We strongly denounce all forms of violence and any acts that dehumanize anyone.
NCO was founded in 1968 as a Community Action Agency. Initiated as part of the 1960s War on Poverty and the Civil Rights Movement, Community Action Agencies are tasked with working to undo the causes and effects of poverty and systemic inequities in communities small and large across the nation. At the core of this plague lies the deeply destructive effects of racism.
“Racism cannot be cured solely by attacking some of the results it produces, like discrimination in housing or in education.”
-Sargent Shriver, Founder of Community Action, Head Start and VISTA AmeriCorps
At this moment, a cure for the coronavirus pandemic remains elusive, just as there is still no cure for the social pandemic. We are one human family, but both of these conditions aim to separate us, to weaken us, to dehumanize us, and to threaten our well-being.
During this time of social change, NCO’s purpose is to strengthen our connections as neighbors, family members, co-workers, and communities. Our values assert the importance of diversity, of welcoming everyone, no matter their ethnicity, age, religion, country of origin, language, abilities, sexual orientation, or gender. The Community Action Promise states that, “We care about the entire community.” We truly believe this, and we therefore must strive to live it every day and demonstrate it in everything we do.
In love and unity, we will interrupt the darkness of this time by embodying the spirit of hope. We are committed to looking inward to identify and address ways we can better serve our community and fulfill our mission while listening to the needs, knowledge, and ideas of BIPOC communities. We invite our community allies and partners to join us as we continue to strive for the equal and just society that is the promise of the United States of America.