This our chance to fulfill the promise of America, an America that holds out the belief that all of us were created equal, with an inalienable right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. That promise buckles under the weight of racism, discrimination and bias, which at their core are about exclusion, not inclusion, and have saddled this country since its formation.
The march of white supremacists this weekend in Charlottesville and the resulting tragedy and loss of life is about exclusion. It’s about a group of people venerating a corrosive belief that the promise of America is meant only for some, not all.
The white supremacists’ march is part of a long history of actions intended to fuel policies and practices of exclusion that deny citizenship, denigrate humanity, and deprive opportunity to some of us, specifically people of color, immigrants, women, and LGBTQ community members. Slavery, segregation, voting restrictions, unequal pay, mass deportations, and transgender bans are all part of a legacy of exclusion. It is a legacy that represents our worst selves, but it can be overcome with our best selves if we act now.
We’ve done it before. People of good conscience have come together in times of strife to dismantle systems of exclusion and foster systems of inclusion. Every time we expand opportunity to such things as voting, education, jobs, and healthcare, we are leading with our value of inclusion. Every time we invite someone to the conversation, to our homes, or to our circles, we are leading with our value of inclusion.
It is that value that lights our way forward.
The American dream was never about “you or me.” It’s about “you and me.” It’s about all of us and it’s what drives our work at Alliance San Diego.
Our mission is to empower diverse people and organizations to engage more effectively in our communities and civic process to create a San Diego where all people can achieve their full potential in an environment of harmony, safety, equality, and justice.
We have never been more dedicated to this mission than we are now, and we have never been more proud to stand with people of good conscience, people like you, to continue the hard work of replacing systems of exclusion with systems of inclusion. We invite you to stand with us today and every day to call out hate and call in love.
Together we can fulfill the promise of America.
Andrea Guerrero, Christopher Wilson, Christian Ramirez, Hiram Soto and the entire Alliance San Diego Team