A Message from our Executive Director Saundra Bryant:
Dear Friends of All Peoples,
It is challenging to write this letter because I have so many emotions going through my head. My heart breaks for the family of George Floyd. We all watched in horror his death at the hands of one police officer. Equally egregious were the three onlookers who were sworn to “protect and serve” George Floyd and did nothing making them equally complicit in his death. The frustration and anger that I feel are due to this not being an isolated incident or an anomaly. It has become a common theme across this country as we witness the deaths of African American males and females. This most recent incident is forcing our country to take off the blinders and acknowledge the issue that has been ignored far too long.
Systemic racism does exist in this country, and as long as we refuse to accept the reality and work to dismantle the evil, we will continue to see protests of some kind. It is racism that maintains a status quo of policies and structures that are bias against African Americans and people of color. As long as we continue to keep our heads in the sand and ignore the pain and suffering that is right in front of us, we as a country will stay on the path to implode.
I believe in non-violence. I don’t want to see the burning and looting or the National Guard in my City. At the same time, I don’t want to see any distraction from the message calling out for change, accountability, and recognition that “Black Lives Matter.” The dignity and respect for all people have been a consistent value of All Peoples. We stand in solidarity, calling for an end to the systemic racism in this country. We call for it now, not in the future, because we have been waiting for too long.
I have served as a member of the Community Police Advisory Board for more than 20 years. I have worked with more than seven captains. Most encouraged community members to speak out if officers fell short of professionalism that the badge is supposed to represent. I also understand that it is essential to revamp the policies and call out those instances of racial profiling and seek justice that is equitable for community and law enforcement.
WE MUST ALL SEARCH OUR CONSCIENCE AND CONSIDER WHAT OUR NEXT ACTIONS WILL BE. “IF NOT NOW, WHEN? IF NOT YOU, WHO?”
About All Peoples Community Center
All Peoples Community Center (All Peoples) is an all-encompassing neighborhood center whose mission is to provide social services and programs that empower individuals and promote community, respect, and self-determination for all.
Founded in 1942, All Peoples has served as a true safe haven and trusted place for low-income children and families in South Los Angeles. Today, All Peoples provides a myriad of social and educational services to more than 6,600 people per year in its 20,000-square-foot center located in a residential area of South LA’s Vernon-Central neighborhood, immediately south of downtown Los Angeles. Services are designed to achieve the following goals: to help children succeed at each stage of development; to strengthen and support individuals and families and build community; to prevent violence and crime in the community and the home; to address the root causes of gang involvement; to provide job training and create job opportunities; and to help seniors stay active and engaged.
All Peoples is a vibrant hub of activity for children, youth, and families six days a week, year-round. Services include licensed extended day childcare, after school programs, academic tutoring, a computer lab, summer camp, summer jobs, an alternative high school, workforce development and career assistance, financial literacy and education, parenting classes, domestic violence support groups, food distribution, a community micro-garden, a senior volunteer program, and more.
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