To our residents, clients, employees, partners, and friends,
We have witnessed first-hand how Black and Brown communities in New York City have suffered disproportionately at the hands the COVID-19 pandemic. And we are now bearing witness to the justifiable outrage over the killing of George Floyd – and many others – as our city, our nation, and the world has risen up in protest over the injustices that people of color have faced for centuries. We share this outrage over the scourge of police brutality and stand united with those raising their voices for real engagement, at long last, on issues of bias and race, and the end of systemic racism in our country.
The frustration, pain, and sadness that we are seeing in the protests and in the conversations that are being had is real. It is a raw emotional pain that comes from experiencing these injustices time and again, year after year, and having them diminished or dismissed without any hope of change. If we are going to honor George Floyd and the countless others from the Black community who have lost their lives, we must have an open and honest dialogue about the realities of the world we live in, the work we do, and how we can all do our part to change in the pursuit of justice and equality.
Phipps Houses and Phipps Neighborhoods were founded on the principle that marginalized people and the communities they live in deserve better. They deserve equal access to high-quality housing, jobs, education, and health care. We are all worthy of opportunity and security, not a life of constant fear, economic instability, discrimination, and getting by with less. Our work is informed by these values, and we believe that our work has helped create stronger, more just communities. And yet, if we’re really honest with ourselves, we have to admit we have a long way to go before we can truly say that we’re satisfied with where things are.
Merely saying these words aloud isn’t enough. As we look inside ourselves to confront inherent bias and systemic racism, we are judged by our actions and by our deeds, as well as our words. And so we ask ourselves: what more can we do to help create more equitable communities? A more just society? For certain, we don’t have all the answers, and know that Phipps alone cannot solve these problems. But what is certain is that Phipps is up to the challenge, and willing to partner with you, with all our capacities, to help bring about change.
Andre, Adam, and the entire Phipps Family
Executive Director & CEO, Phipps Neighborhoods
Board Chairman, Phipps Neighborhoods
President and CEO, Phipps Houses