Our Statement on Racism in our Community
As a community action agency, MICA works every day to change people’s lives, embody the spirit of hope, improve communities, and make America a better place to live. We are dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other. As such, we are devastated by the scourge of racism in our country. Black lives matter. Victims like George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor are but the latest in a long history of violence. Murders perpetrated against black people, attacks on black-owned businesses, and the ongoing violence and oppression against the black community are the unfortunate reality of our nation. Anti-Black racism and white supremacy are a reality we are committed to changing.
Some of these incidents have been made public on social media, but thousands of others go unnoticed. While many have engaged in activism on social media in response to the atrocities, it is not enough. We need to do more. Persons of color, who are in many cases workers with low incomes, are suffering the physical, economic, and social harm that results from generations of systemic oppression. It is not okay to remain silent. It is not okay to do nothing right now.
We don’t have all the answers. However, we are dedicating ourselves to action. We understand that this is not the work of a day, a week, or a month. It is an ongoing and permanent project. We truly believe that our healing as a nation is tied directly to strengthening our ties as neighbors, families, co-workers, and communities. We are committed to dismantling the structures, policies, laws, and implicit biases underlying the profound inequality in our nation and our community.
Systemic change takes all of us. In love and in unity, we will continue to work toward a better future for all.
Clarissa Thompson is MICA's executive director. Thompson joined MICA in 1995 as an AmeriCorps member, and has served the agency in multiple capacities including youth development coordinator, Early Childhood Programs professional development coordinator, community liaison, and most recently, family development director, a position she has held since 2012.
Thompson has a wide-range of experiences from providing direct services to leading major federal, state, and local initiatives designed to improve outcomes for children and families. Her most recent work has been focused on MICA’s two-generation approach to addressing rural childhood poverty through the White House Rural Council’s Rural IMPACT initiative as well as the scaling up of MICA’s premier summer learning program, Bobcat University, which Thompson co-designed. She lead MICA’s disaster recovery efforts serving over 750 families after the F3 Tornado.
MICA provides opportunities to people in vulnerable situations. We equip them to achieve stability, security, and success. We collaborate with families and partners to create communities where fewer people find themselves in poverty, and those who do have a path out.
MICA's vision is communities without poverty. We help create collaborative communities that are responsive to change and address the causes and conditions of poverty. We help build safe and healthy communities that offer abundant opportunities for all people to thrive.