Last June, Goodwill of North Georgia took a stand against racial injustice. As we stated then, “racial injustice has shaken our country and each one of us. Against the backdrop of a global pandemic, we now experience the pain, grief, and anger in response to the killings” of individuals and groups of racial minorities. Although Black and Brown people have been the most affected, our Asian American siblings have not escaped the effects of racism and stereotyping that has been augmented with and during the pandemic.

We were shocked and saddened at the recent shootings at three area locations where eight lives were taken, and one person was injured. These events took place in the very communities where we serve, and we mourn the lives that were lost. Although authorities say it is too early in the investigation to determine the motive, we cannot turn a blind eye to the pain, the fear, and the fact that six of the lives taken were Asian Americans along with two other victims.

Goodwill of North Georgia continues to maintain its commitment to equality, diversity, inclusion, and improving the lives of others. Discrimination and hatred have no place in our organization nor in our communities. We will not partake in the “appalling silence and indifference” that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke against when these heartbreaking injustices and tragedies are plaguing the communities we serve and love. We encourage everyone speak up and speak out against any stereotypes of minorities that could lead to a negative view of any group.

We continue to remember the words from our Goodwill Founder, Reverend Edgar Helms, “Friends of Goodwill, be dissatisfied with your work until every person… in your community has an opportunity to develop his fullest usefulness and enjoy a maximum of abundant living.”

We will continue to execute on our mission to put people to work. We will continue our work to eliminate income inequality. We will continue to be a “best place to work” for our 3000+ diverse team members across North Georgia. Goodwill of North Georgia will continue to help our neighbors break barriers towards employment and prosperity as the nation moves forward in breaking barriers towards justice.