calendar June 4, 2020 in anti-racism

Update From Lutheran Settlement House

At Lutheran Settlement House, we believe that Black lives matter. We share in the love, heartache, and anger of protesters in Philadelphia, and across the country.
On Sunday night, the protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd came to the block where our family shelter is located. The building next to ours caught fire and we were forced to evacuate the shelter. Our staff acted quickly, finding safe places for our families to stay. Fortunately, our building was not damaged and we welcomed our families back on Tuesday.

Our actions Sunday night reflect what Lutheran Settlement House has been doing since 1902: During a time of crisis, we make sure people are cared for and safe.

But now we, like so many others, must think about who we are and who we need to be. Our mission is to empower individuals, families, and communities. How can we accomplish this mission if Black people on our staff and in our community are subject to the physical, emotional, and economic violence of racism and white supremacy?

Through this lens, the deeper crisis was not the fire next to our building. The real crisis is a system of oppression that has sought to deny the humanity and dignity of our country’s Black community. It is the reason we must say that Black lives matter, to try to speak into existence something that should have never been questioned.

The crisis we are experiencing will not be over after the protests end and damaged buildings are repaired. True peace will come only when we reckon with the legacy of racism that has been passed down in our institutions and in our hearts, and when we take concrete steps to create a just society. Lutheran Settlement House is committed to this difficult work. It must be at the core of who we are. This is what it means to be caring, and this is what it means to keep people safe.

We are proud to stand against racism and white supremacy, and join groups like our sister domestic violence agencies, homeless service organizations, the Lutheran Church, senior services, food access programs, and all who work in solidarity with Black communities who face the violent reality of racism in America.

In solidarity,