We Can Do Better – A Letter from Family Ties Executive Staff and Board
Our Family Ties family has been profoundly shaken by the most recent racist attacks and unjustified killings of black men and women including, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others before them. In addition to widening economic disparities and the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 virus sweeping our country, these acts of violence at the hands of those in authority have left us reeling. Nonetheless, we recognize that these issues are not isolated. Rather, they represent two sides of the same coin – the structural and systemic racism that has existed in this country since its inception.
Black lives matter. Family Ties stands with the rest of our colleagues, family members and loved ones against racism and bigotry in all its forms, both visible and invisible. There is no place in our community for violence or other acts of hatred.
Building respectful and equitable relationships is integral to our mission as well as a core aspect of our organizational culture. Thirty years ago, Family Ties was founded on the principles of social justice, as well as a belief in diversity, inclusion and the importance of human connection for families affected by social, emotional and behavioral health challenges. Since that time, we have remained steadfast in our efforts to strengthen the resilience and the rich diversity of our staff and the families we partner with – preferring to focus on the experiences that unite us rather than on what separates us.
We can do better…
In order to promote lasting social change, and create a more just society for everyone, we must first start by looking at ourselves. On our journey to becoming an authentically anti-racist organization, we pledge to begin with an examination of our own values, biases, and practices; and to creating more meaningful opportunities for staff and community to shape our future. As Michelle Obama reminds us, we must start with “…self-examination and listening to those whose lives are different from our own.”
We commit fully to this effort – to keep growing, listening, and learning from one another, and to continuing to approach all of our relationships from a place of humility, empathy and respect. Our children deserve a just world that is kinder, smarter and stronger. We look forward to doing this work together.
A commitment on behalf of Family Ties Executive Staff and Board of Directors