NEDS as an organization, supports the Black Lives Matter movement.
The NEDS board wanted to put together a few things in a statement, first and foremost. We would like to apologize for not issuing a statement earlier, we should have spoken up as soon the terrible tragedy with George Floyd and the countless other people of color at the hands of police and systemic racism which has been rampant in our country for far too long. We understand that by not making a statement, by staying silent we have been complacent. This behavior needs to change and we need to be better. We do not want to make excuses in this, only a promise to be better in the future.
As part of this, we are rededicating to outreach to POC and LGBTQ+ groups and organizations to see what help we can provide. We are committed to making our space and our organization more accepting and inclusive. This is a struggle for many organizations and we need to be better.
Next, happy Pride! This month is the celebration of pride and this year is perhaps more important than prior years as our country and the world is going through a global pandemic and human rights crisis of systemic racism. We want to remember what happened at Stonewall (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonewall_riots) and remember that violence against Gay and Trans people are still disproportionately high.
The board also recognizes, except for announcing cancelling of classes, we have been silent for too long during this pandemic. At this time we do not believe it is safe or responsible to pull together large groups of people for a class in a physical setting. When we went into this, many experts said a few weeks to a month of social distancing, so we believed one or maybe two months of cancelled classes. Obviously, this information was incorrect. As such we are going to start exploring online classes hosted by NEDS to bring in discussions from presenters who have offered their services. Please look for upcoming announcements.