As Black History Month comes to an end, I would like to give space to remember, honor, and celebrate the achievements, resilience, and history of Black Americans. I recognize that there are no better persons to put this into words than those with lived experience, so I invite you to reflect on the following quotes from Black trailblazers throughout history:
“We must never forget that Black History is American History. The achievements of African Americans have contributed to our nation’s greatness.” – Yvette Clark
“History has shown us that courage can be contagious, and hope can take on a life of its own.” – Michelle Obama
“Darkness can not drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” – Nelson Mandela
As President of WestCare, I have been honored to lead an organization that serves diverse youth, adults, and families. Keeping this in mind, I encourage you to educate and immerse yourself in cultures, life experiences, and histories that you may not identify with. We must listen and learn from our Black brothers and sisters – amplifying their voices in the spirit of empowerment.
-Ken Ortbals, CEO, WestCare Inc