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President's Perspective

Statement of Solidarity with Our Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities from Carol Thompson Cole, President & CEO, VPP+Raise DC

March 19, 2021

At VPP+Raise DC, we stand firmly against racism. And, we stand in solidarity with the Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. We condemn the acts of violence on the AAPI communities across the country and are devastated by the recent attack in Atlanta.

Together, we can and must act now. We encourage you to learn more about how you can join current efforts at Stop AAPI Hate.

As I shared last June in response to the heinous murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, this is yet another stark reminder of the structural racism and sexism that persists.

VPP+Raise DC will continue to invest in dismantling the structural racism and the implicit biases that enforce the status quo. Every young person should have the opportunity to receive quality education, health care, and career training, allowing them to learn, graduate, and become healthy, successful adults.

I ask you again to reflect, as I have, on the words of President Kennedy in a major speech on civil rights on June 11, 1963. “I hope that every American, regardless of where he lives, will stop and examine his conscience about this and other related incidents . . . The heart of the question is whether all Americans are afforded equal rights and equal opportunities. Whether we treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated.”

This continues to be a daunting time. And cross-sector alignment and regional collaboration make us stronger with a greater ability to improve education, health care, and career and college outcomes, resulting in broader, deeper, and lasting systemic change that will improve the quality of life of all of our children, youth, and families.

Together, we can right these wrongs. Together, we can create brighter futures for our young people and their families.

Carol Thompson Cole