From Maria Bonita “Bonnie” Duncan, CEO of United Way of Hunterdon County.
I am a first generation American, daughter of immigrants who came here for a better life for themselves and their families. I have lived here and in other countries and experienced my share of discrimination. The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, along with countless other racist acts in the last months that have left me full of sadness, despair, and pain.
I joined United Way of Hunterdon County to make a difference in the community I call home. As a leader of this organization I recognize we must do more. United Way of Hunterdon County’s WHY is simple: Because every individual deserves the opportunity to thrive. Individual isn’t qualified by race, sexual orientation, age or any other difference that shouldn’t define a person as being less than.
We have seen first-hand the health inequities resulting from the pandemic, the economic inequities that followed and the racial inequities that continue to exist. These are the people we serve. These are our neighbors.
We stand with the black community and all communities of color as they demand criminal justice reform and the dismantling of systems built on racist foundations.
United Way of Hunterdon County stands with other non-profits, thought leaders, and community members ready to listen, to address the systemic factors that contribute to racism as a public health issue and add our voice to the demand for change that needs to happen to advance an equitable society.
We condemn oppression and violence affecting black and brown people across our communities, and we will continue to channel our resolve to drive fundamental change to dismantle systemic racism, inequality, and injustice for all. Through our words and actions, we are ready to keep moving forward together.