6/2/2020

An Open Letter to our Community

We support those who are raising their voices to once again expose systemic and toxic racism which robs our communities of color equal access to opportunities. Racism is one of the root causes of homelessness, a truth we’ve known at Horizons for decades. It’s sometimes obvious and other times insidious. It has caused deep divisions in our country, violence in our streets and fear in the hearts of people of color. The horrific events of the last several weeks have become a flashpoint for change and we’re taking action in the best ways we know how.

We are committed to starting from within, doing even more to build a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for our employees that honors our individual experiences and seeks to build understanding and empathy for one another.

We will continue our work with families to counteract the underlying injustices in our society by empowering their growth. Fostering resilience, listening to each individual’s life experience, demonstrating compassion, and acknowledging and embracing the differences that stem from diverse cultural beliefs and practices are just a few ways we can right some of the wrongs.

As educators, we are committed to fostering learning environments free of bias and stereotypes so that children see no boundaries to their achievements. We’re addressing underlying inequity by putting high-quality education and play within reach for children who otherwise would miss out. As part of our curriculum, we’ll continue to expose children early and often to important themes like diversity, inclusion, tolerance, perseverance and accountability.

And finally, as CEO, I’m encouraging Horizons’ employees to join me in using this time for self-reflection. As human beings, we learn only through our experiences and efforts to educate ourselves about our own biases and behaviors. We owe it to ourselves to look within for the sake of ourselves, our colleagues, our families and friends, and the children and families we serve. Each and every one of us has the power to make this a better world one day and one action at a time.

My thanks to you, a member of the Horizons community, for your support of our important work, which is helping move us, collectively and individually, in the right direction.

Sincerely,

Kate Barrand
President, CEO
Horizons for Homeless Children

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