ECAC is an organization dedicated to families and children of ALL backgrounds. Our mission statement is clear; ECAC affirms the right of all individuals, from all backgrounds and cultures, with or without disabilities to an appropriate education and other needed services. We know that students of color with disabilities and their families are acutely vulnerable in dangerous ways.
We haven’t had the right words for our collective pain and anger at the recent publicly recognized murders of black people in the United States. Systemic racism continues to disproportionately impact black families not only in policy, but also in education, healthcare, economic inequities, and much more. We are, however, determined to acknowledge and address the overwhelming bigotry, hatred and racism that Black Americans continually face in our society.
Being a young black child in America should not be considered a crime for which you might be in fatal danger. We know that when race is compounded by a disability, outcomes can be equally and sometimes more disheartening. There isn’t a quick fix to this massive systemic problem of institutionalized racism. This is about a lifetime of hard conversations with others and ourselves. ECAC doesn’t feign to have all the answers. In fact, quite the opposite is true. But what we do know is that all of us need to use our privilege to have conversations and hold ourselves and other people in our lives accountable.
It may take a while for each of us to comprehend our role in racist systems, but keep in mind that people are dying while they wait for us to figure it out. We believe it is not enough to dislike racism; we are also dedicated to work towards anti-racism. For those of you standing up and speaking out, ECAC is proud to say that we see you and we support you. In the coming days, weeks, months and years, ECAC will continue to explore avenues to show our support for black lives and black families in North Carolina and beyond.