These are indeed difficult and challenging times. In the first half of 2020, we have experienced a global pandemic, economic disruptions, and now, an emergency curfew imposed in Arizona in response to the violence on our streets. These conditions make us pause and reflect on these matters of extreme importance.
The tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of four police officers in Minneapolis demands a solemn conversation about systemic racism in our country. This was not a singular event. It follows multiple incidents including the recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and far too many others. The results have created a response of outcries against racism and support for the victims, their families, and the communities in which they lived.
Our mission at A New Leaf is focused on people who are often the most vulnerable in our community, especially during times of crisis. The issue of systemic racism affects the very nature of our work in housing, health, and community services. It also impacts the culture within our organization. As the leader of this organization, I realize the opportunity and responsibility we have to change systems and promote equality and social justice.
We believe strongly in promoting an inclusive environment for all people, regardless of color of skin, ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, and gender identity. These are difficult times, but our country has many times experienced dramatic change following times of crisis. We are hopeful that through intentional, meaningful dialogue and action, our community and country will grow closer to achieving our highest ideals.
Michael T. Hughes, CEO
A New Leaf