November 22, 2016
Dear Friends of Rising Sun,
Our community, like most around the country and world, was taken by surprise by the presidential election results. It is clear that deep divisions exist within our country. At Rising Sun, one of our greatest concerns is the rise of hate speech and crimes post-election. Unfortunately, our organization has already experienced one of these horrendous incidents. Last Monday we had a crew of adult training participants getting field experience working on a low-income community member’s home. During their work, a neighbor started yelling at the crew using racially charged language as well as the phrase “This is Trump land now” before hitting one of our participants with a bat. The perpetrator was detained and there is an on-going investigation. However, our participants and staff were justifiably shaken up by this very traumatic incident.
Rising Sun has put youth and adults to work in the field in diverse communities for 17 years. To our knowledge, no one has been the victim of a physical assault while participating in our programs in all of those years. This event has, fortunately, been out of the ordinary. However, we remain concerned that due to recent events and cultural shifts, it may not remain out of the ordinary. That is why we feel that it is important to let you know about this incident and also that we will be working to do whatever we can to provide support to those in our community who are impacted by this kind of hate and bigotry.
We will not stand idly by while those in our community who are already disadvantaged are further injured and attacked, whether that be emotionally, physically, or politically. We are working on how best to help address this new reality, but if you have thoughts to contribute, I encourage you to share them by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rising Sun is honored to be part of this diverse and supportive Bay Area community and we will work to ensure the safety and security of all of our community members.
Jodi Pincus, Executive Director & Patrick Brown, Board Chair