Director's Message - June 2020


“I will not tire of noting that if we really want a real end to violence, we must remove the violence that lies at the root of all violence: structural violence, social injustice, exclusion of citizens, repression.” Oscar Romero

Dear IIHHS friends,

TitleI imagine that your hearts are as troubled as mine about the violence that is spreading across our country at this time. Violence that is born in 200 years of racism and white supremacy, violence that is being stoked at the highest places of political power in our country, violence that is inscribed in our culture that gives permission to shoot black and brown bodies while jogging, while sleeping, while watching TV in one’s own home, and on and on.

As a white woman of privilege, I am ever haunted by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s searing critique in his letter from a Birmingham Jail where he wrote:

 “I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Coucil-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace, which is the presence of justice.”

In the midst of all of this, I have hope because I do believe that the arc of the universe bends toward justice as Dr. King reminded us. I have hope because of the many examples of resilience and resistance in our history and in our midst today. All of these examples that give me hope are real life stories about communities of people that took action together to resist and/or rebuild to create a “positive peace.”  We at the Institute are doing so much to amplify and strengthen the resilience of the communities we serve. We are lights of hope, and the people in the communities we serve are lights of hope to us. My deep desire is that each of us and our Institute programs continue to live in solidarity with our brothers and sisters to create a positive peace, i.e., the presence of justice, in our community and our Commonwealth.

With heartache and hope,
Linda Plitt Donaldson

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Published: Thursday, June 11, 2020

Last Updated: Thursday, June 11, 2020

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