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The below is an excerpt from a memo was written by Maurice Stevens in August 2020.
Now more than ever, we need new ways to think about harm and redress.
After months of deaths, shutdowns, physical distancing, job loss, social isolation, police violence, demonstrations, civil unrest, and calls for dramatic reform, it might seem overly obvious to note that the COVID-19 global pandemic and responses to police violence and systemic racism have impacted virtually everyone's lives in multiple ways.
Across mere weeks, many of us saw our roles as individuals, family members, community actors, employees, and organizational leaders radically altered and often layered over one another, sometimes in the confines of a single space. Others of us were newly driven by necessity into spaces exposing us to levels of risk previously unexperienced. The pressure this created has been palpable and often damaging.
Over the past few months mass protest has also gripped the nation sparked by the murders of African-Americans and the systemic and institutionalized disregard for the value of Black lives throughout the world but exemplified by the consistent physical, social, and emotional violence exacted upon Black people across generations in the United States.