Yesterday our facility honored George Floyd with an 8 minute and 46 seconds moment of silence. We have counseled our residents and we have listened to staff. Our goal is to create a therapeutic environment for youth to effectively deal with trauma, both personal and secondary. In order to do this we must provide a healthy environment for our team members, we must listen, we must be aware of their stress, and we must lead. Last week, our CEO penned the letter below to our staff laying the groundwork for healing, for listening, for growth, for New Hope.
With the recent and senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, I want to share with each of you my prayers for and deepest condolences to their families and the wounded African American community.
As the son of a minister, who was actively involved in the civil rights movement when he pastored a church in Mobile, AL, I heard the stories of my family receiving death threats for his stand against racial injustice. Through his experience, I was taught to appreciate all life. I am certain this is what led me to work with individuals suffering from mental health issues, yet another population often marginalized by society.
Though I do not profess to have a deep understanding of the trauma African Americans have endured over the last several centuries, in my former capacity as a clinician I listened intently to those who suffered it. Through friends and former teammates, I have witnessed it. As a leader in an organization, I seek to address it by providing equal opportunities regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion or sexual orientation. Thus, I am concerned and angered by these events that reinforce the fear and apprehension that African Americans feel, especially when interacting with police.
Police are instructed to protect and serve. We have the same calling as an organization with the youth in our care. We have the opportunity to address the personal and generational trauma our youth have experienced. By doing so, we can make the world safer by embracing equality for all.
Thank you all for being a part of this mission…our mission.