As we all process the unprecedented and confusing situation facing us, we at the Matthew Shepard Foundation are thinking of you and praying for your wellness. Nothing is more important than all of us traversing this difficult time safely and staying well for one another.
You have likely already received many messages from the organizations you care about, updating you on operations and sending out their goodwill. I myself have been comforted by such contacts and I hope you have been, too. We have held back for the time being out of a desire to know the true situation and not to burden you with the details of how we are coping with the crisis. Suffice it to say, we are keeping safe and trust you are, too.
But I deeply wish to share with you our hopes and our concerns at this moment. Sadly, we have received numerous reports of hate crimes and other violence directed at persons of Asian-origin as a result of individuals misunderstanding and misapplying their fears regarding coronavirus and victimizing others for nothing more than being different. In times of fear and crisis, the fragile nature of our social graces are subject to disintegration and our better instincts, our human instincts, are at risk of falling by the wayside. We implore you, and all fellow human beings, to be aware of this risk, and guard against it. It must be our highest priority after our own wellness. This is an urgent moment for us all to secure one another’s well-being in any way we can.
When Matt died, those of us who knew him and so many more who did not were united in a special moment of fellowship. We stared grief in the eye and chose kindness – exactly at the hardest moment possible. In memory of Matt, who dreamt of a better world, we urge you to take a moment today and bridge the distance between you and a stranger with understanding and compassion. Despite all our fear, and sadness, and loss, we truly need one another more than ever. If you have ever sought a way to contribute to goodness in your daily life, please make today that day. Love as hard as you can. It matters.
Jason Marsden, Executive Vice President
Matthew Shepard Foundation