Standing in the light after Charlottesville

Following the events in Charlottesville last weekend, I needed some time and space to reflect.  I have read a lot.  I have watched way too many news broadcasts.  And I have listened as colleagues and friends talked and cried.

(Jason Lappa for The New York Times)

Every day at Family Service of Roanoke Valley, we work to heal and inspire children, youth, individuals and families to become the very best they can be.  To grow into productive caring human beings.  For adults to care for children and for themselves as the precious gifts they are to this world.

It is hard to do this work in the best of times and 100 times harder when the world seems so filled with fear, hate, anger, racism and distrust.

At Family Service, we serve the community and adhere to a set of values that are critical at this time. I want to call two of our values to our minds:

We value diversity and cultural sensitivity.

We value being part of a caring community.

These values are the cornerstones of the work we do. Believing everyone we serve is intrinsically valuable and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.

Some of you know I have also been obsessed with the upcoming solar eclipse. Though two seemingly disparate events, there is an apt juxtaposition between the events in Charlottesville and the upcoming solar eclipse. Think about what happens during an eclipse.  The light is swallowed by darkness.  For a moment in time, you stand in utter darkness.  And then the light begins to appear. Slowly at first, then the light surrounds you.

We do not tolerate injustice, racism, misogyny or bigotry. Not now in this place. Not ever in this work. We stand in the light.

Sharon Jarrett Thacker

President & CEO