Dear CVCA Staff:

It is July 1st and the beginning of fiscal year 2020/2021 with a new budget and twelve months ahead of challenges and opportunities for the agency. Last fiscal year was tough on so many fronts and unfortunately, the pandemic will be with us in the new fiscal year. I am pleased that there were no additional COVID positive cases to report through the end of June. However, CVCA remains prepared for any surge of the virus among individuals served as well as the staff who serve them.

Your hard work and commitment are valued at all times and particularly during this unprecedented period. For we as a society are actually in the midst of two pandemics. The second has been a plague in this country for about four hundred years and may be harder than the coronavirus to cure. It will be a matter of the country’s leadership and citizenry having the conviction to once and for all take all necessary measures to end racism in all of its forms. The largely peaceful protests over the past many weeks and some initial actions being taken at local, state and national levels give us hope that a tide of change is underway which must not only be maintained but accelerated.

Even as another black life was taken, Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, and the officer who killed him was charged with felony murder…even as an investigation just began a year after Colorado police killed Elijah McClain…even as charges have yet to be pressed against the officers who killed Breonna Taylor in bed at home…even as Ahmaud Arbery’s killers have finally been charged in the shooting death...

In this week’s Sunday New York Times, Pulitzer Prize writer Nikole Hannah-Jones prefaces her compelling piece as follows: “If true justice and equality are ever to be achieved in the United States, the country must take seriously what it owes black people.” She goes on to say, “it feels different this time.” The article delves into the history of slavery and its aftermath, when reparations that were supposed to occur never came to pass, which is why racial injustice and economic inequity prevail to this day. To echo the author’s words, it does feel different – and it has to be different.

In approaching the Fourth of July, Independence Day, I am mindful of the impediments to full freedom faced by blacks and other people of color. The racial prejudices that permeate our institutions and communities must be recognized and remediated.

During the summer months there will be a framework for CVCA as an organization to examine and eradicate any prejudicial practices that exist. We will seek illumination and change that is constructive to ultimately make CVCA a better workplace and a better provider of services to children, youth and families.

Sincerely, Diane Kiddy, CEO