Opportunity International United States statement in support of racial equity, justice, and flourishing
As we join the world in anguish and lament over racism, oppression, violence, and injustice, we recall the very tenets on which Opportunity was founded.
Opportunity International exists to extend opportunity to those living in poverty in the developing world – Africa, Asia, and Latin America — giving them the means to overcome oppressive economic and social systems, improve their lives, and join the economic mainstream. We do this, motivated by our call to serve those who are left behind and left out, believing that every human being is made in the image of God. Every person, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or background, has intrinsic worth and value that is to be cherished, protected, and upheld, to enable each person to live a life of dignity.
Our hearts go out to the Black community, here at home, who have not been treated as equals and faced systemic injustice for centuries. So even as we grieve the horrific losses of today, we remind ourselves that this is not a new situation. It is, instead, the latest expression of the system in which we have lived far too long — one that is in desperate need of change.
We must be co-actors in this change, for as Elie Wiesel famously said, “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.”
As an organization called to love and serve our neighbors, we refuse to be indifferent as people experience injustice, discrimination, lack of opportunity, and brutality. This is a societal challenge, but it starts with each of us – personally and organizationally – working towards a society in which people of color can flourish. We, with an abiding faith in our nation and an unwavering belief in a better future for humankind, commit ourselves to this challenge — to doing our part to work toward this vision.
Through it all, we continue to pray — returning, again and again, to the words of Prophet Micah, an Israelite from the 8th Century BC, “To do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” This is our daily command and our lifelong call. We must act justly, choose kindness, and walk humbly with God — and with each other.