Adriana’s statement on the recent injustices

Jun 12, 2020

Dear Casa Chirilagua Community,

  The news of the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and now George Floyd have left me heartbroken at the realization that more Black lives – individuals made in the image of God – have had their lives taken away in such violent ways here in the United States.   To me this is not a political or movement issue, it is a human issue. As a Christian organization which believes those who follow Jesus are His hands and feet in bringing His kingdom of peace here on earth, we cannot stay silent and we must be moved to action. Through prayer, the leading of the Holy Spirit and our Culture of Honor, I desire for Casa Chirilagua to always be a place where we can:  
    • –Be courageous and vulnerable enough to have challenging conversations that will make us feel uncomfortable – yet need to happen
    • –Be trusting enough with one another with our confessions of repentance and willingness to forgive
    • –Be powerful enough to use our words and thoughts to build one another up, advocating for one another and not tear one another down
  • –Work together to ensure that every single person, especially those who are living under oppression, must and should flourish because we serve an abundant God who has designed us in His image to bring about His kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven


I have witnessed racism within my own Mexican culture towards Black people. I have also experienced unhealthy patterns of racism within the Chirilagua community against Black people and neighbors. As a faith-based organization, we say yes to God’s invitation to undo and unlearn racist patterns in our community in order to truly carry forth our mission of developing relationships with families to see the Chirilagua neighborhood transformed by Christ, and our vision to see God’s kingdom established in the Chirilagua community.

  I recognize that part of the work that needs to be done begins with my leadership. As Executive Director, I commit to creating spaces and offering resources to staff and the Chirilagua community to have difficult conversations and step into relationships, in grace and love, that in hope will lead to repentance, forgiveness and change. I am committed to continuing a culture where – like our Latino brothers and sisters – our Black brothers and sisters are welcome in Casa Chirilagua.   I commit to continuing to provide spaces where not only our Latino brothers and sisters can and need to be in positions of leadership and teach us out of their experiences, but for our Black brothers and sisters as well so that we may learn and better understand one another. Casa Chirilagua is a relational organization and I believe it is through relationships – especially with those who look different from us – that we can begin a journey of understanding and reconciliation.   Since 2017, we have committed ourselves to practicing a Culture of Honor: choosing to be courageous and vulnerable, choosing to be trustworthy and trusting, choosing to be genuinely powerful and choosing to believe there is enough in the world for all people to flourish. I will continue to challenge myself, our staff, and the Casa community to commit to these statements. This is so that we might build a community where those who society has pushed to the edge, and has oppressed for so long, can see that their lives matter.   I am spending time with God and asking Him to search my heart and mind and root out any racist thought patterns or ideologies that have been created through the evil sin of racism. I am asking Him for forgiveness and asking Him to replace lies with His truth and love so that I may see every single person as bearers of God’s image and created in His image. I invite you to do the same.   I also invite you to pray with us as we continue our journey in undoing the evil patterns of racism and to journey with us towards repentance, forgiveness and shalom – which is the continual state of peace with God, ourselves, and one another.   Let’s get to work,

Adriana Gómez Schellhaas Executive Director

We are a community of people “learning together to love our neighbors as ourselves” in a Latino neighborhood in Alexandria, Virginia.

As a faith-based Christian non-profit with a small staff and over 100 volunteers, we serve alongside more than 100 families and their children (1st-12th grades) each week through our community programs.

Learn More

Get Involved

Our relational network of volunteers and donors reflects a diverse group of individuals from all over the Washington, D.C. metro area. As a non-profit, we rely on the community for assisting program directors on-site, being mentors, supplying the needs of our food pantry, and everything in between. Each member of our Casa community holds a unique gift, whether time, talent or treasure.