Dear Junior League of Long Beach members,
The past week has been a tragic one that underscores the severity of racism that persists in communities throughout the United States and across the world.
It’s been particularly painful to witness an unjust police killing in Minneapolis as well as the hurt and anger and racial turmoil still unfolding in our own communities as we see peaceful protests and violent demonstrations spread to Los Angeles and Orange counties.
As an organization of strong, diverse women leaders committed to building better communities, many of us have asked what we can do to peacefully and safely fight racial injustice, and while we are in the midst of a global pandemic, we know we cannot stay silent.
We must speak out in this worldwide conversation about disparity. We must give support to all our members—members of every color—and our community at-large. We are here to support our members who are grappling with anger, fear, disappointment and uncertainty as a result of these realities. JLLB stands together.
Now more than ever, it is critical that we educate ourselves, engage in difficult conversations, connect and learn from one another. Please take time to check on a fellow member, ask her if she’s ok, what she’s feeling, and what she may need. A simple act of kindness can make all the difference—we don’t need to have any answers, listening is enough.
Another local woman leader, Long Beach NAACP President Naomi Rainey Pierson couldn’t have said it better when she wrote on social media: “This shouldn’t be ‘normal’ in 2020 America. It can’t be ‘normal.’ If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better.”
We’re also reminded of this timeless quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
The Junior League of Long Beach’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is as important as ever. We are women who embody and celebrate the beauty and strength of our diverse membership. We each have our own roles to play in creating a world we are proud of.
We are better together. Stay safe.