Dear Opening Act Community,
Today, we take a stand.
Today, we kneel in solidarity.
Today, we pause to reflect.
Today, we move from wishful thinking to hope and action.
Today, we shut down our virtual offices to remember George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Stephon Clark, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Dominique Clayton, Bettie Jones, Atatiana Jefferson, Botham Jean, Walter Scott, Sean Bell, and the countless names that are not listed.
Today, Opening Act boldly confronts social and racial injustice. We address the heartache and pain of our black and brown communities, and we show them that BLACK LIVES ALWAYS MATTERED. The young people that participate in our programs are mirror images of the lives that have been violently taken, yet, they are the brightest hope for our future.
Today, in solidarity of #BlackoutTuesday, we pause so our black and brown young people can know that we hear them, we see them, most importantly, we value THEM – their lives, the color of their skin, and the brilliance of their minds.
Today, we close to recalibrate and prepare for a better tomorrow. And we will not dismiss, we will not be silent, nor will we rest until we have elevated silenced voices, provided platforms, and done our due diligence to help disrupt and dismantle an unjust system.
The truth is, our students have been speaking for many years. Watch this powerful monologue from YESfest 2015 by the Clara Barton ensemble for just one of many examples. This painful moment we are living in is an opportunity to recommit hope to action.
With great determination and relentless commitment,
Zareta Ricks, Executive Director
Opening Act Team & Board Members