To Our Forward Promise Family & National Advisory Committee ~

All of us have been deeply impacted by the crisis throughout the country created by the aggressive, zero tolerance policy on immigration put forth by the current Administration that has separated children from their families at the border. While we all feel this pain, we cannot feel it as deeply as the families directly affected or our brothers and sisters whose work involves daily liberating families from the trauma of these dehumanization tactics. For many of us, it brings up painful memories of the deep wounds of colonization, historical and racial trauma. As an initiative charged with supporting healing in our respective communities, it can feel to us at Forward Promise as if these assaults of Central American and Mexican families running from death and harassment threatens to unravel our progress or thwart our efforts. But, we are here and we will stand strong in solidarity with you and the impacted families. We have the strength of our ancestors backing us as we continue the work we have been commissioned to do.

The leadership of Forward Promise is very aware, as many of you are as well, of the deep and lasting impacts that the trauma of separation creates and that it is further compounded by maltreatment and abuse. We know that the dehumanization of people of color, has been sanctioned by the leadership in this country. We condemn these actions as immoral, unethical and a horrific continuation of America’s shameful history of ripping children from the arms of parents and doing permanent damage to families of color to come. It must stop.

Our ancestors do not roll around in their graves, they whisper to us, their children, and they are saying, “these acts of dehumanization on our people are not new.” We acknowledge our grantee organizations and NAC members who are on the front lines of this fight or engaged in the emotional repair for impacted families and communities.  We continue to learn from our history to solve the problems of today for boys and young men of color, their families, and their communities. Below is a message we received from our brothers and sisters at Amistades, Inc in Tucson, AZ – a border community that we would like to share with you. Please feel free to add your thoughts and experiences to the conversation.

In love and solidarity,

Howard Stevenson, Rhonda Bryant and The Forward Promise Team