Today is Juneteenth, a day of significance sometimes referred to as Emancipation Day, commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. The recent tragic and public deaths of Black lives have caused our country to pursue a national reckoning over its roots steeped in centuries of racial injustice. This tipping point has caused us to enter into a time of honest reflection, both individually and corporately.

Like other international humanitarian organizations, Medical Teams focuses on serving the marginalized both in developing communities and here at home. However, we realize it is easy to overlook the deeper causes of inequity and injustice within the U.S., right in our own neighborhoods. Our calling statement charges us to dare to love like Jesus, and to break barriers in a hurting world. We recognize our need to examine how we do this internally as an organization —  not just externally toward those we serve. This is why we are creating a plan to guide us through a season of listening and learning, to gain a deeper understanding of our own need for repentance, and to discover areas of opportunity and improvement within our organizational culture. Our goal is to build a long-term foundation to enable our organization to be more diverse, inclusive and racially equitable.

To our Black staff, colleagues and neighbors: we acknowledge we have failed in many ways and we deeply desire to do better. There is much work to do, but we will listen and we will grow, together.