A note to our community

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The Northside News would like to share this note from Northside Planning Council (NPC) Executive Director and Northside News editor, Abha Thakkar, to the NPC and FEED Kitchens communities. 

To FEED Members and NPC Board, Staff and Volunteers,

As a naturalized citizen and a woman of color, I have struggled to make meaning of the recent surge in hate-fueled incidents in our country, of this simmering nightmare that only seems to get darker each day. How do I, how do *we* respond in a way that moves us forward, together, toward the light?

First and most importantly: There is no moral equivalence.

Neo-Nazis, Klansmen, and white supremacists cannot be put on the same level as the people who show up to oppose them. Hatred has no legitimate place in this country. We can agree to disagree on many things, but not on this.  We will not tolerate anyone’s desire to subjugate, dehumanize or brutalize others.

Next: Everyone is welcome here at the Northside Planning Council and FEED Kitchens.

If you respect and value the people around you, you are welcome here.  As the sign on the door says, no matter who you are or where you are from, you are welcome here.  We want to know if you are not feeling safe here.

And then: Peace is local.

Ultimately, we can make our country whole by stitching together small pockets of peace in our communities.  This is our pocket of peace, and it matters what we do here. But peace is not simply an end goal or something we can perfect.  It is a way of being, towards ourselves and one another, especially towards people who have had different life experiences from us.  We can choose to practice the discipline of peace every day.

Finally: We are not alone.

The number of good people in this country far outnumber the purveyors of hate. Now, more than ever, the principle of relational power – the power of organized people in relationship with one another – becomes our top priority.  In other words, we must find strength and strategy in our togetherness.

There’s work to be done. We, as an organization, are not perfect, by any means, but we are willing to work.  Thank you for being here with us and let us know how we can do better.

Abha Thakkar