“The plague of racism is insidious, entering into our minds as smoothly and quietly and invisibly as floating airborne microbes enter our bodies to find lifelong purchase in our bloodstreams.” – Maya Angelou
The Achievement Centers for Children is an organization with an 80-year history of working with individuals with disabilities to help them reach their greatest potential. We are outraged and heartbroken by the recent and senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, among many others. Systemic racism in our communities is very real. We mourn with the people of color we serve, and all individuals who are adversely impacted by racism and brutality each and every day.
As Maya Angelou’s quote suggests, racism is a virus, and the hate, intolerance and indifference it breeds are highly contagious, spreading from person to person and then from generation to generation. We all have the sobering responsibility to stop this virus in its tracks. We must address the root causes of racial disparity and meditate on what we individually and collectively can do to create a just society.
As an agency, we value and promote respect, tolerance and inclusion of all people. Like organizations everywhere, we have more work to do. The Achievement Centers for Children stands up today and commits to listening more closely and learning from those on whom racism and discrimination falls the hardest.
We commit to looking at all aspects of our agency to be sure we identify barriers to racial equity and inclusion. We commit to developing strategies and action plans to help us address any barriers we uncover. We hold ourselves accountable for change. We ask our stakeholders to join us in this critical effort. Our mission, our work and our collective future requires nothing less.