Celebrating Black History Month

Dear Staff, Community Partners, Volunteers and Supporters,


At JBWS, we honor Black History Month to raise awareness of Black culture and recognize all individuals who continue to shape the course of American history.  We reflect on the rich history of Black Americans by acknowledging the struggles, adversity, strength, and history of their experiences in the United States.  There is such a rich history of Black American heroes from those we know and learn about to those who have little to no awareness.  Shirley Chisholm, Rep. John Lewis, Michael B. Jordan, Queen Latifah, Simone Biles, Lebron James, Tabitha Brown, Dr. Brittney Cooper, in all aspects of life, Black professionals are leading in their fields.  This year for the first time in history two Black American quarterbacks will face off in the Super Bowl, with the first Black female sports agent representing a starting athlete.  While we’ve come a long way, we still have a long way to go.


As we celebrate the beginning of Black History Month, we are reminded of the challenges that Black and Brown people continue to face in today’s society.  It is deplorable that when we turn on our tv’s, radios or open a social media platform, we are reminded of the disregard for life when it comes to this marginalized population.  Their names are too familiar George Floyd, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor, Atatiana Jefferson and most recently Tyre Nichols, the list continues to go on.  The inherent racism, ignorance, misogynoir and violence continues, and it is our collective responsibility to combat it by listening and having hard conversations, unlearning harmful ideologies and relearning through an anti-racist lens and taking action at all levels.  At JBWS, we are committed to standing with our BIPOC community and being a voice of support in the continued fight for a system driven by justice and accountability.


We are committed to providing an atmosphere where the clients we serve regardless of the color of their skin, culture, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or status receive the same support and services in a healthy identity-centered environment. We see and recognize how intersectionality shows up for the clients we serve, and commit to approaching our clients and staff alike through an intersectional lens. As we make this statement, we recognize the power our voices have and uplift the voices of the marginalized communities we serve. Specifically, our Black and Brown women who statistically are the least likely to see justice when reports are made, Black men whom we consistently on a national scale see life taken with little to no regard and our LGBTQIA+ community whom violence is often underreported. We repeat #SayHerName, we stand in support of the Human Rights Campaign in their work to uplift the LGBTQIA+ community, and we firmly believe in uplifting the voices and experiences of all Black and Brown Americans.


“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare”- Audre Lorde. This month, and thereafter, we challenge and encourage all, and especially our Black and Brown folks receiving this message, to practice radical self-care and love. We encourage you to engage in any Black History event and share your stories to continue to bring awareness. We challenge you to read a book by a Black author, shop at a Black owned business, engage in meaningful conversation, and reflect. Together, we can continue to build a stronger and more resilient country, where ALL Americans can succeed, thrive and have their voices uplifted and heard.


Best regard,

Diane Williams