Help Shape the Future of Community Action in Oswego County
OCO is an anti-poverty agency that partners with those we serve to improve the quality of life for all. OCO is seeking Board Members who have low incomes or who work with or represent the interests of people who are experiencing low incomes.
Click here for an application. All applications are due by January 22, 2021.
2020 Vision: Core values come into clearer focus; what will we do with them?
Our world is reeling from a pandemic for which there is currently no cure. Already, COVID-19 has taken 120,000+ lives in the US and it has affected millions more. We mourn for all who have been infected and affected by this crisis. In a very short time, the pandemic has shifted everyone's reality and none of us will ever be the same.
While COVID-19 has unleashed a threat on the health and economy of our nation, it has also exposed a pre-existing condition that places all of us at even greater risk: Racism. It has placed a hierarchy on human value for centuries, and has accelerated the loss of life among important populations in our country. Persons of color, who are in many cases workers with low incomes who live in places that were already struggling, are suffering even greater physical, economic, emotional, and social harm.
These unprecedented challenges of 2020 force us to examine ourselves, our communities, our values. There is no “fence” to sit upon, no armchair from which to sit and watch while murders in the African American community, attacks on Asian American owned businesses, increasing numbers of murdered and missing indigenous women and girls, and the marginalization and displacement of immigrants seeking refuge, press against our already weakened hearts. Some of these horrific actions are recorded and shared via social media allowing many to bear witness; others remain unknown and unseen, but no less tragic.
While many have expressed their views through social media activism in response to these atrocities, and many have committed countless hours to peaceful protests by filling city streets across the nation, the national Community Action Partnership is calling on more of us to do more. Move from opinion to action. Make it constructive, decisive, anti-racist action. It's not enough to support non-racist causes from a distance. This is an unmatched time in our history to make things right, to be willing to sacrifice our comfort, advantage and privileged status for this greater good. RACISM MUST END!
As you know, there is no miracle cure for either of the challenges currently facing our nation. Make no mistake, racism is a deadly plague! But unlike COVID-19, we have the power to effect a remedy and bring healing as we strengthen our connections as neighbors, family members, co-workers, and communities. As Community Action’s value statement puts it, "We believe that all people should be treated with dignity and respect and recognize that structural race, gender and other inequities remain barriers that must be addressed." If we truly believe this, we must live it.
We commit ourselves to the health and well-being of everyone and to problem-solving systems and structures that will dismantle disparities and social determinants. As one of 1,000 Community Action Agencies across the United States, we remember our heritage borne out of the 1960s Civil Rights movement. Today, some 55 years later, we continue to denounce all forms of violence and any acts that dehumanize anyone. The words of the Community Action Promise say it best: "We care about the entire community" and, in love and unity, we will interrupt the darkness of this time and will continue to "embody the spirit of hope."
Diane Cooper-Currier, OCO Executive Director
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