In recent weeks, we have been painfully reminded of the injustice that permeates our world. We have watched the murder of George Floyd by officers sworn to protect life. And we have seen our nation erupt in outrage against the racism that has for too long denied people of color the universal right to breathe.
This must change. We must be part of the change. The time is now.
George Floyd was made in the image of God. His life was sacred and precious. We grieve for his family, and we grieve for the black community for whom this tragedy stirs memories of their own traumas, rooted in a history of prejudice and segregation. How many people of incredible value have we lost because we have failed to learn to truly love our neighbors?
St. Ann Center stands in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are oppressed, disrespected and devalued because of the color of their skin. We choose to act on our Franciscan value of respecting all creation—including people of all ages; all abilities and disabilities; all races, colors and creeds. We choose to teach the children in our care to celebrate diversity, not fear it. We choose to live out our Franciscan value of working for justice by being an advocate for society’s vulnerable and marginalized and to do everything in our power to ensure their health, happiness and well-being. We choose to hope and believe that things can be different.
St. Ann Center promises to use our two campuses—on the south and north side of Milwaukee—as an example of how difference enriches us, when we stand and act together in unity. We vow to see God in black, brown and white faces, and to live by the essential role He gave us: To love our neighbors as ourselves.