Like other communities across the country, Maui County and its residents have been affected by the anger, grief and hurt caused by recent events in Minneapolis, Georgia, Louisville and elsewhere, and the resulting civil unrest. “The knee on the neck” is an apt metaphor for the anguish and fear that learned hatred and bigotry – sometimes casual, sometimes coded – cause for so many of our fellow citizens.
MEDB joins in condemning the systemic racism evidenced by these events. We stand with those raising their voices, protesting injustices, and demanding constructive change. We cannot achieve social justice when members of our communities are oppressed on the basis of race, gender, or ethnicity.
MEDB is committed to inclusivity, diversity, and the power of education and community engagement, especially for the underrepresented and those who feel disenfranchised. We work towards tackling the inequities that exist in so many aspects of our society.
We see hope for the future in our young people especially, who have articulated their dissatisfaction, here as elsewhere, with the status quo on issues ranging from oppression and social injustice to climate change.
We are truly blessed to live in a place of rich culture, natural beauty and abundance, but we must all acknowledge the importance of inclusion and equity of access for shared prosperity while recognizing our own particular history of past injustice and cultural oppression.
John Harrisson, Program Director, MEDB, and father of two African-American young men