As our country marked Independence Day this year, current events remind us that as a nation, we have much to do to achieve racial equity and justice. These events have continued to lay bare the long history of injustices that African-Americans and other communities of color have experienced and continue to face.

Independence Day also reminds us that our country itself emerged from protest and dissent. In the month and a half since the killing of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter movement and thousands of citizens across the nation have lifted their voices in support of justice system reforms, as well as broader racial and social justice. Right here in the Rocky Mountain region, in Aurora, Colorado, communities have come together after a special prosecutor was named to reopen an investigation into the death last year of Elijah McClain, and just recently, in response to the completely unacceptable actions of officers that caused great pain and anguish to Elijah’s family, friends and community.

LFSRM’s mission is to walk with the vulnerable in our communities through programming such as foster care, refugee and immigrant services, older adult services, family support services and others. LFSRM is inextricably bound to the cause of social and racial justice through its mission and the nature of its work. Everyday so many of those we work with and serve, as well as staff members, are themselves Black or from other communities of color and have or will experience injustice. As a human care agency, LFSRM also recognizes structural inequities that have historically resulted in disparate outcomes and treatment for different communities. Stated plainly, LFSRM stands against racism, persistent economic, health and other inequities and the “otherizing” of human beings while strongly standing for racial and social justice, economic justice, health equity and human dignity.

Over the course of our history, there have been many, seminal times when the country has expanded rights and protections, and it has always been better for doing so. This too can be one of those times, when “certain inalienable rights” finally become available to all Americans, regardless of the color of their skin. Let us all do our part, as individuals, organizations, communities and a country to ensure that 2020 can be a time when the hope for justice and equity for all becomes a reality.

Learn to do right, seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless.
Plead the case of the widow.

Isaiah 1:17