George Floyd’s murder is not an isolated incident, but rather part of a deadly and familiar trend. The senseless killing of black and brown people by police officers is a public health emergency our country has the power to stop. Leaders and policy makers must grapple with our history of white supremacy and acknowledge how power, privilege, and oppression continues to shape daily life in America before we can ever hope to live in a country where communities of color are truly free.
New York’s settlement houses have been progressive leaders in this State for over a century and continue to speak out against racial injustices while building inclusive communities. Today they fight racist ideology in public policy debates from so-called “voter ID laws” to the discrimination against Asian Americans during the coronavirus outbreak to the higher social-distancing arrests and summons in communities of color. During a global pandemic, we have seen the stark consequences of that racist ideology laid bare as black and brown New Yorkers are dying at twice the rate of their white neighbors.
United Neighborhood Houses continues to reckon with America’s racist legacy, and together with our member settlement houses, we affirm our commitment to serving as allies, listening when challenged, and leveraging what power and privilege we have to fight systemic racism. We stand shoulder to shoulder with settlement houses in extending our deepest condolences to George Floyd’s family while repeating the mantra that has shaped the latest iteration of America’s long-running battle for civil rights: Black Lives Matter.
About United Neighborhood Houses
United Neighborhood Houses (UNH) is a policy and social change organization representing 43
neighbourhood settlement houses that reach 765,000 New Yorkers from all walks of life. A progressive
leader for more than 100 years, UNH is stewarding a new era for New York’s settlement house
movement. We mobilize our members and their communities to advocate for good public policies and
promote strong organizations and practices that keep neighborhoods resilient and thriving for all New
Yorkers. UNH leads advocacy and partners with our members on a broad range of issues including civic
and community engagement, neighborhood affordability, healthy aging, early childhood education, adult
literacy, and youth development. We also provide customized professional development and peer
learning to build the skills and leadership capabilities of settlement house staff at all levels. For more
information, visit http://www.unhny.org/