It is abundantly clear that we as a society are failing our Black communities, neighbors, families and friends. The system built to support society continually marginalizes Black people and now, more than ever, we need to listen to our Black communities and be a part of a present that establishes a more equitable society in the future.
BuildaBridge's mission has always been to serve communities in need and it is no coincidence that these communities, mostly Black, continually suffer from systemic and interpersonal racism. We must amplify the necessity, especially in our Black communities, to support systems of growth and to break down the inequalities hurting and killing our Black community members.
BuildaBridge International will not stand idly by.
The extensive consequences of intergenerational and childhood trauma in the Black community caused by slavery, racism, discrimination, mass incarceration and police violence has not been taken seriously enough and today, we are seeing an incredible life-changing energy to change society for the better. Giving more money to policing and surveillance is not the same as supporting social services; education; and arts and culture. It is reactive to the problems caused by systemic racism and not proactively supporting healthy Black communities.
In partnership with other social service providers who serve Black communities and beyond, we believe that visual and performing art-making is a safe space for our participants to thrive and grow, an opportunity to be and do. BuildaBridge’s art-making pedagogy fosters imagination and creativity, two indispensable facets needed to mitigate trauma and hardship. The intrinsic and therapeutic capabilities of BuildaBridge’s art-making move beyond the aesthetic and emerge as tools for social justice and better public health. These coordinated arts-based efforts in tandem with other social services, build community cohesiveness, promote healing and foster hope-infused visions of the future.
The world needs to know that the racism, discrimination and hate debilitating the Black community will not be tolerated any longer. In this, BuildaBridge will also be sensitive to identify any negligent or racist behavior in our own processes and by working together with Black communities, we strive to nurture creativity, imagination, equity and shared hope-infused visions of the future.
We still have much more work to do and call on you to help us develop more partnerships with Black communities. The conditions of our Black communities' lives will not change, unless we work together to truly share and foster the creativity and imagination that is needed to envision an equitable future in which Black lives truly matter.
If this resonates with you, reach out to your local leadership, reach out to us. Help us. Help Black communities. Tell our municipal, state and national leaders that we need to invest in our future differently. Tell them Black lives matter. Tell them to support and embrace the struggle being heard on the streets and believe that we, together, can make a difference.