Improving Lives through Literacy

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Improving Lives through Literacy

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Literacy Volunteers of Greater New Haven stands with the Black Lives Matter movement to redress long overdue issues of social injustice and racial inequality and to promote a society that is fair and open to all.

Our mission to transform lives through the power of literacy is fundamentally based on removing barriers to education for any adult who seeks help. That goal, we believe, requires continued advocacy against systemic racism and economic privilege which, for too long, have denied the rights - and dreams - of people of color. We take inspiration from the late civil-rights leader, Congressman John Lewis, who in a moving essay published in The New York Times a few days after his recent death, wrote: That is why I had to visit Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, though I was admitted to the hospital the following day. I just had to see and feel it for myself that, after many years of silent witness, the truth is still marching on.” 

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For decades, John Lewis marched to his truth - bravely, sometimes bloodily, but always unforgettably - advocating for equality and justice not just for people of color, but for immigrants, the LGBTQ community and the economically disadvantaged.

As his life ended, John Lewis continued to sound a clarion call for change. Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble, he wrote in that remarkable essay.

In passing the torch to leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement, Lewis urged that “extraordinary vision” be focused on the future: “Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe.” 

Literacy Volunteers of Greater New Haven, believes we must strive to make that vision of equality, social justice and inclusivity a reality for all our students. Underscoring that commitment is our continuing mission to empower students to find meaningful and fairly compensated jobs, as well as to achieve educational and personal goals.

We also pledge to examine and strengthen our efforts to combat racism, and to ensure equitable access and opportunities for all those we serve, as well as the community at large.