For over 100 years, the Neighborhood House Association has provided life-changing, transformative services to the communities in San Diego that have needed it the most. Throughout history, we have been a voice for the voiceless, and advocated for equity and access to essential resources for underrepresented populations in this city. In 2020, as we continue to face the reality of racial injustice and police brutality, we remain ready to speak out against these injustices and do our part to eradicate the systemic racism that has brought us to this sobering moment in our nation’s history.
I am saddened by the death of George Floyd, the African-American man who was tragically and senselessly killed as a result of police brutality, and I mourn for the many other black men and women—like Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. Millions of global citizens have taken to the streets across the nation and across the world to protest a system that disproportionately arrests and uses deadly force against people of color. Others are behind the scenes creating and signing petitions, and others are advocating for laws that restrict the use of deadly force and help to protect those that encounter law enforcement. We stand with those who are doing the hard work of achieving justice for the oppressed.
At the Neighborhood House Association, our vision is “healthy and educated communities—where dreams become reality.” If the health and wellness of the black children, adults, and seniors we serve is at risk because of the systemic racism that is so prevalent in our country, we have work to do. As the President and CEO, I am committed to engaging with local and national leaders to organize and develop policies that protect and improve the quality of life for people of color. I am open to educate and willing to discuss ways that NHA can aid in efforts to achieve justice and equity for people of color in this region.
As an African American male, I could have been George Floyd. My son could have been him. Many of NHA’s staff and clients could have been him, too. I am heartbroken by the circumstances that brought us to this critical and necessary conversation, but I am—and have always been—ready to do the work. NHA has been a neighbor that the San Diego community can count in since 1914, and we will continue to fight for the rights and fair treatment for those we serve.
Rudolph A. Johnson, III
President and CEO