We, Concerned Clergy of Olympia, express our sadness at the death of Vaneesa Hopson on Feb. 7, 2018, who died after being chemically restrained. We send our condolences to Vaneesa’s family and friends and offer our prayers of healing for our community.
“As a community, we recognize the inherent worth and dignity of all persons.” While facts continue to surface, this incident reminds us of our need to treat all of our neighbors with love, respect and compassion, an ideal put forth in our Charter for Compassion, which was presented to our community and adopted by our City Council in 2017.
We hope, too, that a deeper awareness of our communal needs and responsibilities comes in the wake of this tragic loss. Together we must work to “create a society where all people are able to live into their best selves.” We invite you to join us in this collective work, a commitment expressed through signing on to the Olympia Charter of Compassion. https://olycompassion.org
Rabbi Seth Goldstein, Rev. Amy La Croix, Pastor Elizabeth Ullery Swenson, Rev. Kedda Keogh, Rev. Dr. Diane S. Whalen, Rev. Carol McKinley, Rev. Kathleen Bellefeuille-Rice, Rev. Tammy Stampfli, Corey Passons, Interfaith Minister. Rev. Peter Perry, Rev. Martha Greene