“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Martin Luther King Jr., April 16, 1963
As we witnessed the horrific death of Mr. George Floyd, killed on the streets of Minneapolis by a white police officer while fellow officers looked on, we were all speechless in shock, sadness, and anger.
Fifty-seven years ago, Reverend King inspired us with his words. That we are still wrestling with racial and social injustices that take the lives of our fellow citizens is tragic and outrageous. Enough is enough. It has to stop, and it has to stop now.
Nothing can bring back Mr. Floyd. He is the latest victim of racial and social injustice. His family are also victims of racial and social injustice. As are so many others before him.
Working together, we can and must change our society. It is long overdue. We cannot allow this legacy to continue and harm future generations.
These last few months in our country have been painful and have tested us. We have struggled first with a national opioid epidemic that has killed hundreds of thousands, then an unprecedented public health crisis that has taken the lives of one hundred thousand, while causing economic hardship, and now we face the ugly and destructive legacy of racism.
But we will inevitably rebuild. In our business, we know that adversity makes us stronger and through pain, prejudice, and stigma, we persevere and improve ourselves and our society. At Odyssey House, we know how to take care of vulnerable citizens. Every day we help people come back from the challenges of addiction, mental illness, and homelessness to rejoin their loved ones with renewed personal and prosocial purpose. Together, as role models, we save the lives of men and women society has turned its back on.
As our country and city wrestle with civil unrest, as we call for justice and societal change, Odyssey House is more committed than ever to stand with our community. For over 50 years, our doors have been open to those in need. They will stay that way. Together, we will confront stigma and bigotry whenever and wherever we encounter it. This is at the core of our mission, and we are proud of it.
Peter Provet, Ph.D.
President and CEO