To the D-Lab Community:
I want to reach out to you all during this traumatic time. The images we are seeing reflect a dire reality that has existed for centuries in the US and continues to exist today. This reality demands from us that we make choices – about our own lives, about our community, and about the country in which we live.
This moment, when we are compelled to look at the lack of justice for African Americans and other people of color, is filled with pain and anger. Can we turn this into a moment where we take a leap forward?
In my youth, I watched with pain as my home town erupted in repeated episodes of racial violence. I saw the hard and fast lines that divided our community physically, economically, and culturally. I heard the racially disparaging remarks. I felt the anger. While we have moved forward since that time, we haven’t moved far enough. Disproportional imprisonment of African American men, disproportional police violence against African Americans, discrimination in housing, lack of access to health care among the African American community – these are all things that we should be protesting and working to change.
I encourage all of us to invest the time and energy into examining and understanding the complex root causes that have brought us here. I hope this will lead to an understanding of our role in the current situation, and ultimately to personal, community and national actions to which we can commit that will lead to a more just and, yes, a better world.
Let’s keep a dialogue going. Please let us know what you think about how D-Lab should be playing a positive role in this struggle.
I wish you all peace and justice,
Bob Nanes, MIT D-Lab Executive Director