Standing in Solidarity with People of Color Following Recent Events
Shortly after I first started working at SNAP, Barbara Blaine – SNAP’s founder and my boss at the time – went on a business trip to Washington D.C. When she returned, she brought along souvenirs for her staff from the MLK Memorial. For me, she had brought a magnet – still on my fridge today – with Dr. King posed in relief alongside one of his famous quotes; “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Today, I thought about that magnet and Barbara’s example when reflecting on the news of the past weeks, the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and the resulting pain, anger, and violence that has sprung up nationwide in the wake of these events.
The injustice visited upon Mr. Floyd, Ms. Taylor, and too many others to name, is not central to the mission of SNAP. Yet I believe there are more similarities than differences. Survivors of sexual abuse too have been targeted by powerful authority figures. Victims and advocates have also felt ignored and marginalized when fighting for justice and visibility. More directly, over the years we have seen how powerful church officials have used immigrant communities and communities of color as dumping grounds for abusive clergy. In this way, we can see the effects of racism clearly in our work.
Dr. King finishes his famous quote by saying “whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” And so we in SNAP stand in solidarity with our black and brown brothers and sisters that have been victimized, ignored, and trodden upon. We recognize that the injustice they are fighting against is an abuse of power, something that our volunteers and leadership have been fighting for years. We stand in support of those seeking to create change that will make their communities safer and their children better able to live without fear.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected])
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)