Letter from Collington CEO, Ann Gillespie

June 8, 2020

Dear Collington Community,
These last weeks have been filled with devastating news stories about the police killing black people. In
the wake of the George Floyd murder and the national conversation we are again having about race and
justice, the leadership team and I want to invite us to think about the actions we can take as a
community. We have talked about this often over the past few days and I’ve learned something new
and important each time.
I have always been grateful for my parents instilling values of equality and social justice in my nine
siblings and me. I have marched, contributed time, money, and effort, and tried to be intentional about
raising my kids to live these same values.
After this past week, however, I consider myself a beginner on these issues; and as a privileged white
woman, I have been unsure of what to say or how to say it.
To be honest, I was afraid. Not that people would disagree with me, I never worry about that, but out of
fear that I would make matters worse and offend my black friends and colleagues because of some
nuance I missed.
But the time for silence is over. I cannot remain silent and be faithful to my conscience. I will speak, even
if I do not know much . . . even if I make mistakes . . . even if I am less than articulate.
If you are black resident or team member, I want to ask your forgiveness in advance for anything I may
say that may be offensive born out of ignorance. I know that the changes we need will take more than a
few conversations or the reading of a book, but I am committed to doing the hard work of educating
myself and taking meaningful action in our community from an informed place.
As my good friend said to me, “empathy is nice, but it’s no substitute for action.”
Collington prides itself on its diversity and has strived to build a community that is inclusive of everyone.
Residents who choose to live here have spent their careers making the world a better place. When I
think about how we have faced the COVID-19 pandemic, I am reminded that this community can do
hard things.
If like me you are new to this deeper conversation, I hope you will join me in approaching this topic with
humility and an eagerness to study and learn.
I want to share attached a list of resources I have found interesting and helpful from a variety of
sources. We do not need to look far to start our learning process.
With love and gratitude,

Ann Gillespie

Ann E. Gillespie, CEO