June 2, 2020

The following is a message co-authored by Summer Search’s Alumni Board Chairs, our Alumni Staff Cohort, and CEO Dr. Marc Spencer.

Dear Summer Search Students and Alumni,

We are thinking of you, your families, and all our communities right now. We wish you safety and health, and hope to see you again very soon. We have much work to do ahead.

These past few weeks have been especially difficult, as our nation has watched the continued assault, police brutality, and murdering of black people. It’s frightening, it’s infuriating, and it’s exhausting.

Black and Brown people, including many in our own community of students, alumni, their families, our staff, and our boards, are living an existential crisis: murdered, exposed disproportionately to COVID-19, terminated from employment and benefits, denied access to healthcare, housing, and financial systems, and backed up hard against the wall. It’s no wonder the result has been anger and protest.

What feels urgent is to speak up, support those who are protesting and demanding change, emphasize the need to care for one another, and to identify the actions we can each take to move our country toward equity and justice.

Summer Search staff have been sharing resources with one another and with our Boards to mobilize action and support one another’s self-care where we can. Some of those resources are below. Throughout the weeks of this pandemic, our mentors have held space for our students and each other, and our organization has expanded our benefits in order to support the well-being of our staff, too.

For some now is the time for action, and the resources and ideas below are among those shared within our staff and volunteer leadership.

For others, we know this time is one for self-care or the immediate care of your families and loved ones.

We know that our alumni community is engaging with one another and with staff throughout social media and elsewhere. We are grateful for those conversations and the mobilizing energy they create. At Summer Search we must work towards a community of inclusion, belonging, acceptance, and safety.

You can find a list of resources here, in case you find them helpful and/or wish to share them with your own networks. We are continuing to add and edit this list in the days ahead, with input from members of our community. You are invited to share additional resources with us at alumni@summersearch.org or via our social media pages.

With care,

Lorraine Cawili, Bay Area Alumni Board Co-Chair

Bao-Chau Do, Seattle Alumni Board Vice Chair

Seth James Ellis, National Alumni Director

Emily FitzGerald, New York City Alumni Director

Jada Gamble, Bay Area Alumni Board Co-Chair

Carrie Gonzalez, New York City Alumni Board Co-Chair

Kaitlin Irvine, Philadelphia Alumni Director

Pascal Louis, New York City Alumni Board Co-Chair

Cristina Perez, Bay Area Alumni Director

Marie Pierre, Bay Area Alumni Board Co-Chair

Dallas Pride, Boston Alumni Director

Marc Spencer, CEO

Rebecca Sullivan, Seattle Alumni Director

Tommy Tran, Boston Alumni Board Chair

Header Photo Credit: The Guardian.

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