In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “This is no ordinary time.”
The Center for Health and Learning believes it is time to make a clear statement about equitable respect and caring for all people in this American society, of which we are a part. All people should know they belong and are valued, and as the Umatter® message says, “You have a place in the big picture.”
“We” - white, black and brown people on the Board of Directors and employed by CHL - stand together as allies. When one of us suffers, we all suffer, and we lose a part of our collective humanity that makes us whole people and a whole community.
All forms of systemic racism must stop, including the systems that perpetuate police violence and brutality. We watched the painful, visual and auditory rendering of the death of one of our black citizens at the hands of a police force meant to serve and protect us all. Violence in all forms in our society does not fit into the big picture of a society that functions under democratic principles and values of care and concern.
The economic ravages of COVID-19 and violence in society have come together to expose just how much needs to change about social attitudes in America. CHL denounces the culture of white supremacy and systemic racism that leads to school to prison pipelines, mass incarceration, police violence, and poverty, and inequitable access to resources. We express our support to those who are protesting peacefully across the United States, demanding an end to police violence and justice.
We know that entire communities of color have historically been harmed by systemic racism and oppression, and underserved by discriminatory policies and budgets. While we have all experienced a lot this spring, the coronavirus pandemic has underscored the impact that the disparities in health outcomes that COVID-19 has had in communities of color. Recently, the Vermont Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issued the Disparities in School Discipline in Vermont highlighting disparities in disciplinary policies toward black and brown children in Vermont, which runs in parallel process to research across the country. The relentless, centuries-old, racism and oppression that fueled the coopting of Black lives in America must end. We all deserve the opportunity to succeed and thrive
The current situation requires each of us to place attention on what needs to change. CHL works across sectors to impact the individual level of health among students in the educational system, patients in the health care system and those who are part of our social services systems. Today, we commit to ensuring that CHL’s programs, grants, systems and practices align with these commitments:
*Proactively address our own unconscious biases as a team through the ongoing commitment to planned trainings, dialogue, and consistent communication about assessing how we are becoming anti-racist as an organization and individuals;
*Deeply listen to and learn from Black, Indigenous, and other people of color through our projects with educational, health care and community partners;
*Ensure that the sentiments expressed herein are reflected in our work, staffing, recruitment policies, and operational decisions;
*Hold ourselves and our grantees, partners, and stakeholders accountable for making progress toward equity and justice for all.
1. Don't forget to register for this year's 2020 VT Suicide Prevention Symposium!
2. Please check out our upcoming Suicide Prevention Webinar Series!
Join us for this year's Symposium!Attachments: