The Tide Is Turning: Statement of Solidarity
Sharing a Song: “Wake Up America” -- and Reflections
June 11, 2020
We have been reflecting--moved and inspired by the words and actions of so many, here at home, and resonating around the world. Calling for change. Demanding change.
Until we wake up each and every day, focused on what we can do to create a better, more equitable world for all, we will be rightly accused of being complacent and complicit in perpetuating the wrongs that have plagued our nation for too long.
Carpe Diem’s commitment as an organization is to have more diversity on our board, staff and advisory council by increasing the representation of people of color to at least 50%, to better reflect the audiences we serve.
This past Friday, our friend and fellow teaching artist Lea Morris shared these words before leading us in singing the powerful song, “Wake Up America" by Dave Kinnoin and Jimmy Hammer.
“This turmoil, this unrest, and this shaking of the foundations is akin to labor pains in giving birth. Sometimes pain and discomfort are necessary to birth something beautiful, something important, something strong and enduring. I believe that peace and love, kindness and human decency, and respect for the dignity of all are the foundation and the bedrock of what we are looking to create. Having a vision of what is next for us is going to be what is required, right now, in order for this moment to have a meaningful, lasting, positive impact on our country, for all of us.”
~ Lea Morris, June 5, 2020
Last week, Kidist Tilahun and Leah Negash, two middle school students who are part of the “Healthy Families: Healthy Communities” program of Brass Ring Company and Carpe Diem Arts, shared statements as part of Takoma Radio’s “Moments of Reflection,” which included these words:
“I believe that everyone should be treated equally because our skin color on the outside does not matter. We are all the same on the inside…. I really hope people can learn from everything that is going on right now and not take away another innocent life.”
~ Kidist Tilahun, age 12
“We all need to step up in some way and support the Black Lives Matter movement…. We can’t let America stay the way it is. We can’t continue to let police officers kill innocent Black people because they look suspicious…. African Americans need to be heard. Our struggles need to be heard.”
~ Leah Negash, age 12
We echo Lea's, Kidist's and Leah's words in our resolve to join with our fellow country men, women and youth in addressing the undeniable evidence of police brutality and the atrocity of mass incarceration, born of systemic racism and deep-rooted prejudice that affects the lives of Black communities in countless ways. We have heard the outrage, the anger and anguish for decades, for centuries, in the face of rampant social injustice.
We must address the undeniable evidence of police brutality and the atrocity of mass incarceration, born of systemic racism and deep-rooted prejudice that affects the lives of Black communities in countless ways. We have heard the outrage, the anger and anguish for decades, for centuries, in the face of rampant social injustice. There is much work to be done, but there is hope.
There is hope in the resounding refrain that the time for fundamental change is now. We are experiencing unprecedented examples of courage and conviction which may finally ensure that change will be for lasting good.
Carpe Diem Arts stands in solidarity with the Black community and people of color in the fight against racism.
We, as a nation, as individuals and organizations,, are called in no uncertain terms to end racial injustice everywhere and make ever more true George Floyd’s six-year-old daughter’s declaration: “My Daddy changed the world.”
Will Smith, our Maryland State Senator and a member of our Carpe Diem Arts advisory council, issued a statement this week that included these words:
“The silver lining in all of this is that we have the power to seize this moment… to do the hard work of creating a society more loving, more welcoming, and more accountable to us all.”
~ Will Smith, Maryland State Senator
Carpe Diem’s pledge is to take active measures and be leaders of change, as an organization and as individuals, to reflect in action a strong commitment to access, equity, and justice in all that we do. We pledge to address the issues facing people of color in our community, to work harder to empower children and youth by providing programs that build agency, self-confidence, and leadership skills. Our future is now, and we are stronger together.
The Board and Staff of Carpe Diem Arts