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Metropolitan Statement on George Floyd

We are living in one of the most challenging moments in our country’s modern-day history – a time when people have decided that the murders of innocent Black men must stop. On the heels of peaceful rallies and riots across the country and at home, we are struggling to manage a mix of emotions – sorrow, anger, confusion. Some of us are simply tired, wondering where to go from here.

At Metropolitan Family Services, we stand in agreement in calling for justice for George Floyd and the many others who have been killed like him. For us, the loss is especially penetrating and proximate. Many of the clients we serve and our staff have Black and Brown skin. Our solidarity with their concerns is not hypothetical, it is personal. It is personal because George could have been our brother, father, or son. He could have been us.

Just as we were enthusiastically preparing for life after COVID-19, we find ourselves with the more familiar virus – racism. And so we stand at a crossroads. Though it would be easy to share platitudes or accept fatalistic outcomes, we choose neither. Instead, we see opportunity. This is a pivotal moment to seize the will – in line with the great spirit of our city – to create. It’s time to reimagine how we can and should develop ways to remove racial disparities, strengthen our families and communities, and create a civic community that values all and provides an even playing field.

The changes needed require positive attitudes, honest dialogue and action. We are committed to doing our part – empowering families with a full scope of educational, emotional, economic and legal services they need to be and give their best to society. We invite you to find ways you can make a difference that inspire your passion and commitment. Partner with and invest in community organizations that are making a real difference in people’s lives. Advocate with the business community and legislators to promote educational and economic opportunities that equip all of our residents to prosper and lead.

In the process, George Floyd’s murder won’t be relegated to a blip on the timeline of history. Instead, it will have been the catalyst for a new day and future for Chicago and hopefully our nation.

As James Baldwin wrote, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

In peace, hope, and solidarity,

Ric Estrada
President & CEO

Ashley Duchossois Joyce
Chair, Board of Directors

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