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Statement on Structural Racism and Injustice

A note to share what those of us at Serve Washington have been thinking about, and working on…

Serve Washington shares in a call for justice for the brutal killings of George Floyd, Manuel Ellis of Tacoma, and the countless acts of injustice against Black, Indigenous, and people of color. Black Lives Matter. We recognize that people of color continue to experience structural racism and other forms of oppression. We echo the sentiment that this inequality must stop.

Serve Washington has looked and will continue to look internally during this time to reflect on what we have done and what we could be doing to address inequities and structural racism. We acknowledge the work we have done is not enough and we make a commitment to do more.

We also recognize that as individuals our team is a primarily white organization of privilege and that we hold power as a funder, as state government and as white people. To say Black Lives Matter means we have to do the work to recognize and change our own bias and the bias our systems perpetuate. We commit to listening, learning and growing, both as individuals and as an organization.

Serve Washington was founded on the belief that our state’s most valuable resource is its people and their commitment to service and volunteerism. We will take intentional action to respond and lead with racial equity and social justice at both the local and federal level for the work we do so we can meet our mission and that belief. We are inspired by the learning and work around social justice that Washington’s AmeriCorps programs do every day and we will continue to support the network as we learn and work to address racial injustice. We believe and hope that these actions will support all national service members’ service experience.

As author and poet Maya Angelou has taught us "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."