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An Open Letter to the WT Community

Aug 5, 2020 | Community Announcements

Forward, Together with western tidewater community services board

To Our Community

Over the past several weeks, we have experienced unexpected interruptions to our day-to-day routines. We continue to deal with an unseen enemy, COVID 19, that elicits fear and poses a life and death health risk to us all and especially the most vulnerable among us.

Add to this the daily images and reminders of the seen and unseen prevalence of racism in our country and the world at large. The vision of the death of yet another unarmed individual at the hands of police is troubling for us all. A long list of deaths that should have been prevented, most recently Ahmaud Arbery, Breyonna Taylor, and George Floyd, has ignited a firestorm of emotions felt by many. These emotions are fueling demonstrations in this country and around the world. Racism, while often unseen, tears at the very core of who we are as a people and the fabric of our being as individuals. It leads to a failure to see each other as individuals with value and worth but rather through a prism of preconceived perspectives, (most often negative) that ultimately limit the success and achievements of us all. Racism, for many, goes unnoticed; not always for lack of care, but perhaps lack of vision.

We have difficulty acknowledging, addressing, and confronting what we cannot see.

These are trying times that challenge us to look within and try to understand what is incomprehensible and look outward to try to conquer the obstacles that impede our progress and success. Let us move forward with our faces toward the prosperity of an enlightened tomorrow and not look back to the hate-filled and harmful past practices that have prevented real healing and progress as a people. Let us move forward toward a tomorrow where our efforts to understand each other draw us closer together and unite us. Let us move forward with a commitment to overcome these enemies seen and unseen, and to lead us to a better day for this generation and those to come.

During times of challenge, we are stronger together. Rest assured that WTCSB is committed to doing our part to unite with the communities we serve – Franklin, Isle of Wight, Suffolk and Southampton, – in their peaceful efforts to promote equality, foster goodwill, and offer strength and service to all citizens and especially to those in need of our support.

Donna Boykin, Clinical Director