“None of us alone can save the nation or the world. But each of us can make a positive difference if we commit ourselves to do so.” Cornel West
When Capital Area United Way (CAUW) formed Living United, we strived to accomplish two things: 1.) engage the community through dialogue and discussion and 2.) to celebrate those individuals and groups in our community who continue to work towards the common goal of working toward the elimination of bias, bigotry and racism across ethnic, gender and religious lines. To achieve this vision, we first must understand and address the underlying factors that impede progress. By challenging practices based in racism, and other historical and current forms of discrimination, we can create more inclusive communities and equitable outcomes.
Through Dialogue on Race Louisiana and the Brotherhood Sisterhood Awards we are working on achieving this goal with the assistance of individuals and companies in our 10-Parish service area. We cannot do this alone, and through the companies like Baton Rouge General and ExxonMobil, we are able to provide opportunities to our community and drive equitable community change.
Whether it is through supply drives for those impacted by Hurricane Laura, bringing health screenings to the community, or partnering with CAUW to give back to essential workers, Baton Rouge General is no doubt "built for the community, by the community." They are always available for their community year round through the ups and downs. Although it has been a tough time during the pandemic, their ability to serve never wavered. Thank you, Baton Rouge General for always caring for the community.
Last fall, ExxonMobil was recognized as one of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber's Diversity Award recipients, which is given to a business that takes exceptional pride in championing diversity and inclusion in their businesses or the community. "Without diversity, our business would not have the competitive edge needed to be a leader in our industry. Without inclusion, we wouldn't maximize on our people's creative potential," commented Dave Luecke, ExxonMobil Baton Rouge chemical plant manager. "Both are critical ingredients to a recipe of success." ExxonMobil continues to strive to embrace diversity, eliminate barriers in their workplace and show their commitment to progress through regular participation in the Dialogue on Race Louisiana series held in the fall and spring.
Thank you to both Baton Rouge General and ExxonMobil for sponsoring Living United this year with CAUW.
We leave you with the words of the great Martin Luther King, Jr. who delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.:
"Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends. And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that on day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'"
We challenge the community to continue to stay involved by hosting Dialogue on Race series or participating in the Brotherhood Sisterhood Awards. For more information, visit, www.cauw.org/living-united.