For 133 years, Mile High United Way has believed that a community and a country can only succeed when we are united, and that every individual must receive equal opportunity to pursue their dreams and maintain their livelihood. We are outraged and sickened by the tragedies of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and sadly so many others.
The last few weeks have been wrenching. Not only has COVID devastated the lives and livelihoods of millions, it has shone a harsh light on the divisions and cracks in our country that have always been present but often hidden away, or ignored, or swept under the rug. People of color face a daily fear caused by a history of racial inequality. And in the last few weeks, we have watched in horror and heartbreak, from New York to Minneapolis to our own city, the injustices and hatred and racism that has overtly and covertly reinforced systemic disparities between the privileged and under-privileged.
We have listened to the words of Denver’s Mayor Michael Hancock and have taken his statement to heart: “We still battle the disease of racism and hatred – and it must be us that stand united.” And we recognize that it will take action and it will take work.
To embody that statement, we stand united against the injustices and cruelty of systemic racism. We stand united for the values of equal treatment and equal access to resources. We have seen how COVID has disproportionately impacted communities of color within our city. We have seen how poverty disproportionately impacts communities of color within our city, and we will continue our work to ensure that the basic rights and freedoms of everyone are protected. We will call on our Metro Denver community to stand united with us in creating economic opportunity for all.
Thank you for letting us stand united with you.
Christine Benero, President & CEO of Mile High United Way and Vernon Irvin, 2018-2020 Chair, Mile High United Way Board of Trustees