While Konbit Sante’s mission and work is focused in Haiti, it is at its core driven by a desire to see a more just and equitable world where rights and privilege do not belong to a few. That desire extends to our own country where, like Haiti, the legacy of slavery continues to have toxic and lethal consequences for black people generations after the institution of slavery was legally abolished.
We stand with the people that are demanding a recognition of, and reckoning for, this history that has disenfranchised and killed so many people of color for so long. We deplore not only the most extreme acts of murder (most recently George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor) that must challenge even the most hardened conscience, but also the systematic and institutionalized racism that is an ongoing reality in our culture. As a person of unearned white privilege myself, I know that these forms of racism are only “subtle” from the perspective of people like me, but are ever-present and non-subtle for people of color. Racism is every bit a fatal virus as is COVID, and has been endemic for too long in our country.
More than 50 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke and dreamt of a “beloved community” as “a global vision in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood.” (thekingcenter.org/king-philosophy/)
Dr. King knew all too well that the path to this dream was not easy, but encouraged us with hope that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” We hope that this is a moment when we can all humbly and critically reflect about our own place and contribution to that arc, and choose to be part of something that is hastening its bend toward justice.
Nate Nickerson, Executive Director