As I reflect on the recent events that have, once again, shone a spotlight on the injustices that occur in our country, I think of Proverbs 31:8: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.” What has transpired with the horrific deaths of unarmed African Americans, most recently George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, is beyond comprehension. They deserve justice. Our hearts are heavy for all of those who have suffered from racism and bigotry.
Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind was founded in 1858 for the sole purpose of leveling the playing field for people who did not have the same opportunities as others around them. For over 160 years we have challenged the system in an effort to eliminate long-standing stereotypes born out of a lack of understanding and intolerance. It is ingrained in our culture to call out injustice and demand equal rights for all; and then begin the necessary work to make the world fair and accessible for all people.
As Helen Keller said, “Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each other’s welfare, social justice can never be attained.” True healing and equality can only occur when acknowledgement, understanding and commitment to a more just society is demanded. It is important to us that we not only speak of awareness but also engage with conversation and action. Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind will do its part to create limitless opportunities for all people.
Sincerely, John Mascia, Au.D., President Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind