El Futuro staff and supporters share a passion for nurturing the lives of individuals, families and children who are bravely facing mental health symptoms – many of which are the result of living with years of inequities, injustices, and racism. We believe in nurturing not only las familias who come to our clinic, but also the vibrant identities, voices, and lives of our Black neighbors.

The challenges in the world in this extraordinary moment are many. We know that racial and ethnic inequities are a large contributor to health disparities. The medical casualties due to COVID-19 bear witness to this fact. In North Carolina today the data show that African-Americans account for 35 percent of the COVID-19 fatalities, yet African-Americans make up just 22 percent of the state’s population. Furthermore, the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor are a tragic and all too frequent reminder of the ongoing systemic inequities and racism – making it more clear than ever that the time for change, for action, for a new and better way forward, is now.

Although we have struggled this week to find adequate words that contribute meaningfully to a healing conversation, we think it’s important to state very clearly: El Futuro values the lives of Black people. El Futuro stands in solidarity with our Black neighbors. Black lives matter.

As an organization, we are responsible for bringing meaningful action to our words. We, too, are accountable to making changes within our organization, and we also want to be part of the important work that needs to be done in our community. We vow to continue listening, to continue learning, to continue to nurture the rayos del sol (rays of sun) in each member of our community, and to work to dismantle inequities in our mental health system and beyond.

Many worthy organizations are bringing meaningful action plans forward, advocating, educating, and leading the way. We’re doing our homework to learn who these are. In the coming days, please stay tuned for us to share what we’re learning.

Thank you for being our community. Thank you for making it vibrant. Thank you for shining your rayos del sol. We see you. We hear you. We are with you.