Today Malden celebrates Juneteenth for the third year in a row and, for the first time, declares it an official holiday, thanks to MaldenCORE’s efforts to bring not only Juneteenth, but also the larger issues of racial equity, to the fore in our city. We feel this is a fitting occasion for us to communicate our beliefs on the subject.
The struggle for racial justice is older than America itself. Movements like Black Lives Matter are the modern form of the civil rights movement, and public demonstrations are how members of that movement show support and build connections. The current wave of protests directly addresses police brutality, but this movement is larger than a single issue. To march with Black Lives Matter is to march for equality in job opportunities, health outcomes, homeownership, and every other area where racism has harmed so many.
Malden Neighbors Helping Neighbors chooses to say “Black Lives Matter” precisely because we welcome ALL of our neighbors. We acknowledge that being a safe space for our marginalized neighbors to ask for help (including Black and Brown people, Immigrants, LGBTQ,+ and others) requires us not to be passive, but actively resist the oppression and othering of these groups.
The principle of inclusion guides several steps we’re already taking to make our work accessible to all people in Malden. We work to make our group open to as many people as possible by outreach that includes physical documents, phone lines, and multilingual translations. We work with organizations in our community to reach as many people as possible, including GMAACC, Malden’s Mosque, the TDM Church, the YMCA, and Bread of Life (among others).
Through these community partnerships, we realize that food insecurity, housing insecurity, economic hardship, and other issues we work to alleviate are not new in Malden. We acknowledge and uplift the people who have been doing this work before us. We commit to being a group that supports the humanitarian needs of all.
Our Facebook page is a forum for ALL issues relevant to helping our neighbors, not limited to COVID-19. We allow and encourage posts about keeping our neighbors in their homes, keeping food on their tables, helping them access medical care, and helping them feel connected in times of crisis and despair. We are not a political discussion group, but political actions to help your neighbors are an allowed topic of conversation.
Malden Neighbors Helping Neighbors is here to respect and uphold the dignity of our neighbors. We will not tolerate any posts that deny or insult the basic humanity of our friends and neighbors, including posts that minimize the seriousness of the racism crisis in America.
Black lives matter.
The Organizers of Malden Neighbors Helping Neighbors