TransCen’s Statement on Racial Injustice
While protests have been going on for the past month, and some of us have participated in these protests, it has taken us some time to put together a statement on the racial injustice, as we find it hard to believe and accept that this is America in 2020.
We are once again being inundated with disturbing images and stories of Black citizens being harassed, arrested, and murdered by vigilantes and certain police officers – those who have pledged an oath to protect and serve. This is no longer a time for words, but a time for action. We must be good humans – when we see something that is wrong, we must do something. “I was just following orders” or “It’s not my job” can no longer be an excuse for allowing racial injustice to continue. We can no longer ignore the situation. Implicit bias, stereotyping, structural inequality, systemic oppression, exclusion, stigma, microaggression. These words and phrases embody the experience of living as a Black citizen in our country still today.
As an organization that cares deeply about individuals with disabilities and their futures, we want to say to all of our Black staff, friends, colleagues, and partners that we will do everything in our power to end this menace to you and your loved ones. We see you hurting and will not dismiss the pain being experienced thus, we hold you close. However, we cannot only offer comfort but also, we must offer actions and be steadfast in our commitment.
– – –
We challenge our TransCen team, board members and the communities in which we live and work to take action. We must change our actions that contribute to stereotyping, implicit bias, exclusion, and stigma.
At TransCen we are implementing short- and long-term goals to ensure that the next generation will live in an inclusive and just society. Some examples include: recruiting board members that represent racial diversity, implementing a diversity recruitment strategy for future hires, reviewing our marketing to reflect inclusion and diversity, building and investing in diverse leaders within TCI and with our clients, training our team to question our own biases and practice radical candor in the pursuit of racial equity.
– – –
Over the past 400 years, we have had so many tipping points for racial justice in our country, we hope we have finally tipped! The stories of Rashad Brooks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Eric Garner, and countless others before them, represent the historical tally of generations of embedded racism and inequality in our country, and the violence, bigotry, and intolerance born from it.
We stand together, outraged at the enduring racism and hatred that continues to reveal itself throughout our country. We as a nation have failed to address the oppression and inequities that impact people of color, specifically our Black community. TransCen stands with the Black Lives Matter movement and those who are protesting the needless deaths, who reject hate, and who demand justice. We believe our country will never heal or live in peace until all individuals live in a barrier-free, inclusive society – free from discrimination, intolerance, and bigotry – with liberty and justice for ALL.
Let us remember the thoughts of Langston Hughes:
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Carl Van Vechten Collection, [reproduction number, e.g., LC-USZ62-54231]
Please see this resource developed by Sunshine Behavioral Health on mental issues facing the Black community. Topics covered include: how racism causes mental health problems, common serious mental illnesses among Black people, why more Black people do not seek mental health help and the importance of culturally competent care.