A Statement on the January 6th, 2021 Capitol Riots from USI President, Esther Shin.

I am certain that like myself, many of you watched in shock and utter disappointment at the events that transpired during the Capitol Riots on January 6, 2021. These attacks on our Democracy, our civil servants, and our way of life are traitorous and vile, and seek to diminish the vote of millions of people, primarily Black, Brown, and Indigenous.  We condemn the violence which showcased the systemic and actual violence many of our disenfranchised communities are met with daily and have been for decades. These acts of violence are jarring and inexcusable, yet achingly familiar.

After the unprecedented madness that we survived in 2020, we had hoped for a reset, a time to reflect on the mistakes and missteps that have hindered our opportunity to increase the diversity and equity our country, states, and communities so desperately desire, but unfortunately are facing a loud population of grossly misled individuals who are actively promoting racist rhetoric and dismantling years of progress.  It is beyond time to call out these racist, problematic members of our families, communities, and elected bodies who would rather divide than choose to heal.

As a proud organization of color, partnering with communities of color for over 40+ years across this great nation, we boldly fight against the voices, systems, and events that only further divides our country and strips it of its opportunity to be the global leader we have been and strive to maintain. The children and families across this country are hungry, hanging on to hope, while trying to navigate another year battling COVID-19, but continue to face the long-lasting effects of racial injustice. Our collective country will continue to struggle to become a more perfect union until we commit to NAMING these inequities while creating spaces and policies that support the value that All People Are Created Equal, and not by half measures.

As a People we need each other more than ever.  Audre Lorde wrote “It is not difference that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences” and “Without community there is no liberation”.  USI will continue to work diligently to center Race, Equity, Community and Liberation.

In Service and Solidarity,

Esther Shin