COMMUNITY ACTION: A HALF-CENTURY OF PROGRESS, YET A LIFETIME OF CHALLENGES REMAINS...
A Statement from Greater Bergen Community Action the designated anti-poverty agency for Bergen County
Community Action was born out of the civil rights movement almost 56 years ago, and since that noble beginning, enormous strides have been made in improving the lot of those who have been marginalized by a society seemingly content to divide the “haves” from the “have-nots”.
The numerous programs founded and administered by community action agencies across this country—more than a thousand locations in all—have played a significant role in expanding opportunity for children, families, immigrants, those with special needs, seniors, the hungry, the homeless….and the list goes on. There is much to be proud of for those of us who strive to bring relief to those who need help.
As this is written, the first of June, 2020, & as we are confronted by a terrible Pandemic that engulfs the planet—not to mention the accompanying economic injustice that is so pervasive—we note the wave of dehumanizing behavior that sweeps this entire nation: racially-based, targeting the poorest among us, and showing no signs of abating.
It is, then, no surprise that the growing list of murder victims are representative of the African-American community, and among that larger group, a disproportionate number who are experiencing economic stress. Many of our employees can be counted in that number, along with Hispanic-Americans and the foreign-born, thus we are deeply committed to concentrating our efforts to help them navigate successfully through the troubled times we are currently encountering.
And, while it is hardly imaginable, the Pandemic will eventually subside; indeed, the nosedive the economy is in will end as well….jobs will return.
What will remain, however, is the pervasive racism that has a stranglehold on a society which prides itself on the principles of equality and fair play, among other well-meaning platitudes. As recent events have demonstrated, many of us have lost sight of the meaning behind those words, and we are much the worse for it.
We at GBCA hereby affirm that we find it completely congruent with our mission to take the unalterable position that RACISM has no place in our society, & we commit to doing all in our power to eliminate that despicable condition.