Our Letter of Response

June 1, 2020


Dear Community,

We are living in painful and unprecedented times.

The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery— on top of all the brutal murders of African Americans throughout our nation’s history— have further laid bare the enduring, systemic racism that is alive and well in the US.

Meanwhile, the COVID 19 pandemic has further exposed the inequities built into our society’s housing, health care, education, employment, and criminal justice systems.

In times of great grief, we turn to lasting legacies to help us find footing.




These words written by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1967 are as relevant and prophetic today as they were during Dr. King’s lifetime.

Certain conditions continue to exist in our society, which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality and humanity. And so in a real sense our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay. And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention. (Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The Other America” 1967)

Recovery Café was founded on the truth that every life is sacred and has equal, immeasurable value.  Therefore:

We categorically condemn the murders of black people and the suffocating, systemic racism from which these murders arise.

We acknowledge the collective trauma of people of color triggered by on-going brutality.

We commit to expose and heal hatred in our communities and in our own hearts and minds.

We will work for justice and to bring an end to “winters of delay.”

We will continue to create safe spaces for all to share their stories and to grow in compassion and action through a deeper understanding of the stories of others.

We will continue to seek authentic relationships that cross racial barriers, transforming us and our world.

We will continue to strive to be a “beloved community” in which the oneness of the human family is cherished and celebrated.


Thank you for letting me share,

Killian Noe, Founding Director, on behalf of Recovery Café Network


P.S.  Our Recovery Café Network staff is working on our next, specific steps for confronting systemic racism.  Will you join us by working on your next, specific steps?