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Dear Friends,

We, at United Way of Lake County, are outraged, devastated and heartbroken by the brutality that led to the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ahmuad Arbery in Georgia and so many other recent acts of racism and violence. Our hearts go out in deepest sympathy to their families and all those affected by these tragedies.

These recent incidents involving violence and threats against African-Americans expose the persistent and underlying racism, prejudice and privilege that prevent too many people from being treated with dignity and respect. Everyone deserves to live in a society where they feel safe, respected and protected. We can and must do better to guarantee that the rights and freedom of every person in every community are ensured and protected. In the end, we all have a role to play in creating a more equitable future.

At United Way of Lake County, we focus on eliminating inequities through education. We work in communities faced with multiple challenges to increase the number of students prepared for kindergarten and improve reading scores of 1st – 3rd graders by helping them build a strong educational foundation. Through 211, families have access to basic needs and essential services to improve and save lives. Most recently, our work in COVID-19 relief has focused on critical needs in the hardest-hit communities in Lake County.

We believe that to achieve racial equity, we must unite as a society and commit to systemic change. We stand in solidarity with community members and other organizations addressing racial disparities across our nation. We remain committed to building an inclusive and equitable Lake County where people from all races, cultures and communities have the resources and opportunities to thrive. We urge leaders to listen to the voices raised by people across many of our communities in recent days. We condemn all violence and brutality anywhere, and call for peace. All of our children are watching to see how we respond in this moment and counting on us to build a just and equitable world for everyone. Working together and united, we are committed to addressing systemic challenges and inequities, healing our community and putting opportunity in the hands of all living in Lake County.

Kristi Long, President & CEO
United Way of Lake County

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Jennifer Strom

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