𝗔 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗩𝗶𝗿𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗶𝗮 𝗕𝗼𝗮𝗿𝗱 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗣𝗲𝗼𝗽𝗹𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗗𝗶𝘀𝗮𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗲𝘀
The concepts of unity, opportunity, and equal justice for all are the backbone of the United States Constitution, and these values are shared by every Developmental Disabilities (DD) Council in the nation. Nonetheless, the events of the past several days have once again made it painfully clear that these values are not a universal experience and remain an unfulfilled promise for far too many of our citizens.
As Virginia’s DD Council, the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities stands with the protesters and shares in both their collective outrage over the unjust murder of George Floyd and in their demand for change. History has taught us that the unalienable rights of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” are not a reality for many minorities, including people with disabilities, and Virginia’s unique role in that history cannot be brushed aside.
All Americans have an enduring responsibility and duty to sound the call for action in order to protect and enforce these rights. The Board is proud to join that call.
𝗔 𝗠𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗖𝗵𝗮𝗶𝗿 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗩𝗶𝗿𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗶𝗮 𝗕𝗼𝗮𝗿𝗱 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗣𝗲𝗼𝗽𝗹𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗗𝗶𝘀𝗮𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗲𝘀, 𝗗𝗿. 𝗘𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗹 𝗣𝗮𝗿𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗚𝗮𝗶𝗻𝗲𝗿
As we mourn the death of George Floyd, let us honor his life. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends and all those who knew and loved him.
However, this is not an isolated incident but endemic of the systemic racism that impacts our community every day. We recognize the systemic racism that has created the gross inequities in our communities—inequities in policing, in housing, in education, in health, in jobs, and every other facet of the lives of our black and brown community. The events over the past week are a hurtful reminder that while we have made progress, we have a long way to go regarding inclusion, diversity, and equality for all people.
We encourage you to stay safe and reflect on this quote from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King:
“𝙉𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧, 𝙣𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙗𝙚 𝙖𝙛𝙧𝙖𝙞𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝙙𝙤 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩’𝙨 𝙧𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩, 𝙚𝙨𝙥𝙚𝙘𝙞𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙮 𝙞𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙬𝙚𝙡𝙡-𝙗𝙚𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙤𝙛 𝙖 𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙤𝙣 𝙤𝙧 𝙖𝙣𝙞𝙢𝙖𝙡 𝙞𝙨 𝙖𝙩 𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙠𝙚. 𝙎𝙤𝙘𝙞𝙚𝙩𝙮’𝙨 𝙥𝙪𝙣𝙞𝙨𝙝𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙨 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙨𝙢𝙖𝙡𝙡 𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙥𝙖𝙧𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙬𝙤𝙪𝙣𝙙𝙨 𝙬𝙚 𝙞𝙣𝙛𝙡𝙞𝙘𝙩 𝙤𝙣 𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙨𝙤𝙪𝙡 𝙬𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙬𝙚 𝙡𝙤𝙤𝙠 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙬𝙖𝙮.”