Continuum Stands with Black Lives Matter
Monday, June 8, 2020
A Message from Patti Walker
President & CEO
These past weeks have been deeply disturbing and disheartening for Americans everywhere, including members of our Continuum family. Once again, an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, was met with ignorance and violence and lost his life in the most horrific and senseless way. An innocent woman, Breonna Taylor, who risked her own life daily to save others during COVID, was shot in her bed. And, Ahmaud Arbery was fatally shot while jogging, simply because he was Black. These deaths are deeply felt by all of us who are now called to action to condemn the use of lethal police brutality in the continued deaths of unarmed Black people. Black Lives Matter.
We can no longer tolerate this kind of disregard for human life. Our thoughts and prayers go to George, Breonna, and Ahmaud’s families, as well as to the countless others who have suffered needlessly, many losing their lives to ongoing systemic racism.
As we witness the pent-up pain, anguish, and trauma expressed through the cries and protests of racial injustice, we cannot continue to stand by idly waiting for something to change. Feeling bad, being angry and rageful is necessary but nowhere near enough. We all need to use our voices and stand up for change. We need to continuously stand alongside one another in support of Black Lives Matter. We can see that it is already starting to make a difference.
We need to talk with one another, and work together towards a common goal of finally addressing racial injustice. What is happening in our community just highlights what most of us who work in the social service field already know. We need to address the inequities that are so inherent in our systems and in our communities. Together, we must ensure that once and for all, Black Lives Matter.
We need to demonstrate the compassion, empathy, and willingness to make things better for our Black brothers and sisters. The color of one’s skin should not determine one’s path. Research has shown disproportional racial disparities in education, access to healthcare, incarceration, income, life expectancy, and opportunities. And let’s be intently aware that the persons we care for who have Mental Illness and/or Intellectual Disabilities already have a disadvantage in navigating justice due to a world that discriminates against them. Now imagine what life is like for those of them who are also Black. This is our problem as Americans, as Connecticut residents, and as Continuum employees and clients, a significant percentage of whom are Black. The issue is multi-faceted and complex, as are the solutions.
The time calls upon each of us to contribute to creating a better world.
- It calls us to make personal and professional choices and take constructive action.
- It calls for deep respect for one another, especially for all who bravely and constructively lift their voices to illuminate the issues and help to affect change.
- It calls for introspection and self-awareness to evaluate our own feelings, biases, and behaviors. It calls for compassion, sensitivity and education so that we have a better understanding and appreciation for each other.
- It calls for patience with one another so that we can learn and grow together.
We must work together with the intent of creating a just, compassionate, and harmonious environment within the Continuum family, the community, and the nation. November is fast approaching. As George Floyd’s brother Terrance said, “Let’s stop thinking that our voice doesn’t matter and vote!” Let’s make the coming local and Federal election a huge positive step forward in electing the needed leadership and morality so desperately needed.
While we do not have all of the answers for what has been a centuries old social injustice in our country, we stand in solidarity and support all those affected, and demand systemic change if we want to truly foster equal justice for all.
We need and want to continuously learn from our own Black colleagues and clients, our community, and others to ensure that Continuum fosters the practices and compassion that lead to social justice and the best work culture.
We stand with Black Lives Matter, because they absolutely do.
Patti Walker, President, CEO
Continuum of Care, Inc.
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