1200 South Broad Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Dear community members,
The events of the spring of 2020 have shaken our nation to its foundations. The COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying economic collapse have spread across the country. This dual crisis has weighed most heavily on the African-American community, aggravating long-standing disparities. The frustration and pain of the last few months has been brought to a fever pitch by the horrendous murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers, laying bare the centuries-long persistence of racism that infects all of our institutions.
Family Services serves the African-American community in Forsyth County. We encounter the consequences of racial injustice through the work we do with families, children, and individuals. We encounter it in the form of deep emotional trauma, interpersonal violence, poverty, and opportunities denied. We are primarily a service organization. Now we must find our voice so we can authentically speak to the urgent need to dismantle the structures that cause, maintain, and exacerbate the challenges that the people we serve face in their daily lives.
Listening comes before speaking. We will first look at our own organization to identify the ways in which we, as an institution, participate in the institutional racism that pervades the society of which we are a part. As an organization, we must arrive at a critical understanding of how racism subverts the daily lives of the people we serve, our staff, and our community. It is through our struggle to achieve a deeper understanding of the pervasive impact of racial inequities and injustice that we will be better able to do our part in creating a more just and equitable community.
Robert J. Feikema
President & CEO | Family Services