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Happy First Birthday to Us!

By March 22, 2019 No Comments

A Letter from Our Founder and CEO, Kassy Alia Ray

 

Dear Friends,

One year ago, we stood together – in the very same place where Greg took his last breath – and unveiled a new name; with that came a new vision, a new mission, and a new hope.

When Greg was killed, I knew nothing I could do would ever bring him back. And yet, I wanted to do anything I could to take away the pain and prevent it from happening to others.

I wanted to write a new story for the future.

In all my wildest dreams, I could never imagine that this journey, our journey, would lead us here. Together, we have developed something that is truly special.

We are Serve & Connect, a nonprofit focused on igniting positive change through police-community partnerships. We believe that there is no us vs. them, but only all of us working together towards shared goals of making our communities and families safe and helping our children to thrive. We believe that Together. We are better. Because of that, we work closely with community residents, leaders, and organizations and police to define a shared voice, shared vision, and shared action. We are all pieces of the same puzzle, bringing unique gifts, assets, and perspectives to the table. None of us alone can achieve the goals we seek – it takes all of us courageously working together to improve outcomes for all.

Yet, working together can be tricky, especially in communities where distrust is long lasting. That is why our work begins with the process of building trust and connection. Through this, we have seen incredible progress – people who were seemingly at odds with one another coming together over a common ground and developing something truly beautiful. As one of our community partners shared, “This thing really is an empowerment initiative.”

Our work is work of the heart and that is something we can ALL join together in making happen. It takes each of us being willing to show up for one another, leaning into what is uncomfortable to hear, and joining together in celebration of what we have in common, because at the end of the day we are so much more similar than we are different. Just imagine, what would it feel like if we all stood together?

This work – it’s not just talk. We are demonstrating the hard proof that collaboration matters, whether it be through our Compassionate Acts Program, which touched approximately 7,000 people last year; our community events which the data show fostered trust and connections that didn’t previously exist; or the expansion of our COMPASS initiative into 5 new communities.

So, thank you for everyone who has supported us, worked beside us, and hoped for a better future… together.

And we are only getting started.

With a grateful heart,

Kassy