We fervently hope and pray that as sentient beings, we have learned from pas stories of tragedy, whether it's Emmett Till, Rodney King, and Laquan McDonald. While I am a minority, I do not personally know the extra hardship that it means to be an African American growing up in the United States. So while none of us condone the looting and chaos that's being instigated by some opportunists right now, the much bigger issue is how we as a society can come together to confront a fundamental truth. Black Lives Matter. And that as a community, we each need to lift the human condition to ensure that ever person, particularly the African American men, feel enfranchised to follow the American Dream.
If you would indulge me, please read HERE a powerful passage from my incredibly talented CMAA colleague, Alana Slezak Masebe, a white women, who married an intelligent, kind and thoughtful black man from South Africa. Hearing the racist struggle that Alana and her husband have unnecessarily endured, it's eerily similar to that discrimination that Asian Americans are now seeing racist resentment directed at us due to Covid-19. Unfortunately for so many in the African American community, that racism has been generational, literally, since the founding of our country.
I pledge to all of you that it continues to be my moral imperative and that of CMAA that we will always combat racism in any form, and work to empower every person in our community to dream of and attain a full, and accomplished life. Thank you for your support of CMAA, and special thanks to all heal care and essential service workers, a disproportionate number of who are immigrants an minorities, who continue to sacrifice their personal safety daily so that all of us can heal and restore. Everyone in our country needs to join together now so that we can all heal and restore.
Know Anyone Who Needs COVID-19 Resources? Visit Our page!
Recognizing that need to centralize the different COVID-19 resources available to our community at this time, we have created the CMAA COVID-19 Community Resources page. This page is full of useful links and guides to help community members to navigate the emergency services that are currently present, including resources to the City of Chicago, the Illinois Department of Human Services, and small business opportunities. We have also included application details for CMAA’s Direct Financial Assistance Program and guidelines on how to apply for IDES unemployment benefits. Check it out!
Today, Hamid is facing challenges again with the COVID-19 crisis;
as business across the city and sate have been forced to close, Hamid is no longer able to make a living through driving, “No one is going anywhere now,” he said. His wife has been working inside the home, taking care of their 3 year old child. With no one earning and 5 mouths to feed, Hamid has been scared about the future. “Rent and food cost so much,” he expressed.
CMAA was recently chosen by the City of Chicago’s Department of Housing to distribute $1,000 microgrants to low-income families affected by the crisis. Working with our sister agencies, CMAA has chosen 75 families to benefit from this relief fund to help clients with rend and housing costs. Hamid’s Family was chosen as a beneficiary. “I’m so grateful for this help. I can’t appreciate enough what CMAA does for my family, for my children in the youth program, and for the community. You are vital to us Thank you so much!”
You are so very welcome, Hamid! CMAA is proud to expand this financial assistance program to help more families for more information, please see you COVID-19 Resources page.
“I’m really proud of staff and management team. I’ve been inspired to see how [they] have been able to just be versatile and changing,” Morlie said, highlighting Margret’s “pivot to Zoom” and Alana’s ability to solve problems that have arisen during the move to digital classrooms.
“This is not our normal work. None of this is our normal work, so you would never know how that's gonna go. We’ve definitely hit some snags, but we learn from them and try our best.”
Story Online Here!
The 2020 Census is a once-per-decade count of EVERY PERSON in the United States, regardless of citizenship status. Census data shapes the future by determining the distribution of federal resources to states and apportionment of seats in Congress. An accurate count is essential for Illinois to ensure that Organizations like CMAA receive funding it needs to help the community and provide critical services and programs. You can easily complete the Census via online at www.my2020census.gov or call thirteen language helplines to participate over the phone here!
Check out CMAA's Census Day video blooper reel HERE!