Approximately a third of the residents we serve in the residential treatment program are African American. Every time an incident like that of the death of Freddie Gray occurs, I am reminded that the African-American residents we serve are as much at risk because of the color of their skin as for any of their behaviors.
Our nation owes a great debt to the young persons and older adults who protested against acts of actual or perceived police misconduct in Baltimore, Maryland; Staten Island, New York; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Ferguson, Missouri; Cleveland, Ohio; North Charleston, South Carolina; and other cities around the country. They are the moral conscience of our nation.
The pain of Dominika Stanley over the senseless loss of her baby girl, Aiyana, is unimaginable. Hard to suffer, too, is the crushing weight of isolation and alienation as the world responds to tragedies like that of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown Jr., and Eric Garner to the exclusion of the loss of black women's and girls' lives.