(Addressed to NFI – Massachusetts employees)
“It should go without saying, but it needs to be said. NFI condemns racism in any and all forms, and will continue to address social justice issues in our agency and our communities. We are heartbroken and angered by the murder of George Floyd, but unfortunately we are not shocked because these killings have become part of our national landscape. Don’t accept it.
Natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, and the current pandemic are different because we do not directly control them. But humanity’s cruelty, violence and hatred cut us to the core, because we can do better. Take responsible and vocal action as you are able, and keep yourselves and your loved ones as safe as possible. Don’t give up.
We are sharing the below statement from one of our trade organizations because we believe it gets to the heart of the matter. At the community level, there will be many opportunities for action; contact your local politicians and leaders and ask them what they are doing. Take action.
At our agency level, if you are so moved, you may reach out to the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee via Mairin Schreiber with thoughts and feedback. We will be setting up opportunities for dialogue, and are asking program managers to allow for a moment of silence and discussion during staff meeting this week. Speak and listen.
Youth and families of color may be experiencing increased levels of trauma and distress and may need additional clinical support from us. Speak with your clinical and management teams about how you can collectively help. Advocate.
This is a lot to bear; please also use employee assistance or mental health benefits that are there for you. At the very least, take good care of yourselves, because human service workers, from their choice of career, really do want to—and can—make this world better. Let your leadership know what you need.
We need every one of us. Take care.
Lydia M. Todd