Bottomless Closet Remains Committed to Equality

June 5, 2020

I hope that you and your families are continuing to stay healthy and well.

Like many of you, I was quite moved by the events of this past weekend, witnessing an uprising of communities who for far too long have been oppressed by disproportionate and systemic racism and violence. Like the poverty and inequities in the workforce that impact and lead our clients to Bottomless Closet every day, the pandemic is also disproportionately impacting black and brown people. As an organization where 83% of our clients are women of color, we stand in support of the peaceful efforts to dismantle racist, oppressive systems, examine the historical economic, political and social factors that have contributed to the ongoing crisis and proactive measures to attain educational equity, affordable housing and a true anti-poverty agenda in support of our clients.

We are committed to racial, economic and gender equity. We will use this moment to work even more actively to understand and condemn inequality in all of its forms. We know that many of you are taking specific actions in your own lives, and I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you the specific actions we are taking as an organization:

  • We will engage in client outreach to take a deep and unflinching look at their experiences seeking to enter the workforce – including their experience at Bottomless Closet – so that we can better serve all of our clients and meet their needs.
  • We will build on anti-harassment and discrimination training already taken by staff by providing additional training opportunities for our board, staff and volunteer community on these important issues of anti-racism, diversity and managing bias.
  • We will galvanize our efforts to reach out to women of color through professional bodies, networks and other organizations in order that our Bottomless Closet community of volunteers and other stakeholders better reflects the women we serve.

For more than 20 years, we have made it our mission to show women of all walks of life, sizes, shapes, colors, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, education levels, and backgrounds that no matter what they’ve been through or how many times they’ve hit rock bottom, that they are worthy.

They’re worthy of a second chance.
They’re worthy of an education.
They’re worthy of employment.
They’re worthy of success.
They’re worthy of happiness.

And they should never have to question that they’re worthy of simply existing.

With so many of our clients being women of color, we cannot remain silent about everything that has been transpiring over the last week. But we also know these injustices are nothing new, and that people of color have faced systemic racism and inequality for way too long and it has to change.

We might be a small nonprofit, but we pledge to do everything we can to stand alongside people of color for as long as it takes. We are committed to being part of the solution – thank you all for being part of the Bottomless Closet community.

Warmest regards,  Melissa-Norden-signature

Melissa Norden, Executive Director