'Together, we can and must do more' A letter by Sharmain Matlock-Turner

September 29, 2017

Dear Readers,

Our mission at the Urban Affairs Coalition is to improve the quality of life and build wealth in urban communities. We do this through major initiatives like Philadelphia Pre-K, innovative business practices like fiscal sponsorship, and supporting individuals and organizations that drive change in our communities.

Forty eight years ago, the Coalition grew out of community protest and outrage, that both alarmed and awakened many of us. We have worked every day since our founding to bring our city together to combat poverty, inequity, inequality, and discrimination. We have done this by making sure that all voices are heard, community, government, and business.

The United States has a troubling history - slavery, jim crow, lynching, internment camps, unjust treatment of native people, and racial and religious polarization.

Hearing our President stoke our racial divide using black athletes – is truly disturbing. Knowing that my children, grandchildren, and members of my community can so easily be targeted with this kind of politics is painful at a deep and personal level.

Widening the racial divide in America does not make us great. It is our ideals - our Universal ideals - that have helped us bridge the chasm between our reality and what we aspire to: Equality, Justice, and Fairness for all.

I know that the terrific and diverse team I work with at UAC, has not given up on the American Dream, no matter the presence of scary nightmares.

Together, we can and must do more.


Image: Sculpture of Octavius V. Catto, a military hero, intellectual, educator, athlete, civil rights activist, and martyr for justice and equality. Catto's statue was unveiled on September 26, 2017, and is Philadelphia’s first public statue honoring a specific African American. Photo: Associated Press