Learn more about Northeast Arc by visiting their website.
(Addressed to Northeast Arc employees)
Right now, there is pain in the hearts of millions of Americans. Last week, we saw footage of the death of George Floyd, weeks before we saw the killing of Ahmaud Arbery and the video by Christian Cooper of a woman calling the police and identifying him as an African-American. Unfortunately, these events are not unique.
I cannot personally begin to understand what our black staff may be feeling at this moment. While I have pain, as a white woman, I do not know your pain. I do know that, at the Northeast Arc, we will not tolerate any acts of hate or discrimination. We respect each individual regardless of skin color, ability, nationality, age, religion, gender, sexuality or gender-identity
The disability movement, that helped found organizations like the Northeast Arc, was a Civil Rights Movement. Our mission, and our staff, work towards creating opportunities for people with disabilities that are equal to their non-disabled peers. Throughout the years, we have learned that equality and justice cannot be achieved alone. When one minority group suffers injustice, we all suffer injustice. Our identity is rooted in empowering everyone.
The staff at the Northeast Arc is richly diverse. We have staff from multiple countries, speaking multiple languages. We have dedicated staff of all colors, of all religions and all beliefs. The individuals we support are also diverse. Our diversity makes us better. Diversity brings different and new and positive perspectives. We value our diversity.
I want to share with you a video by Northeast Arc Board Member, Patrick Tutwiler, PhD, the Superintendent, Lynn Public Schools. We thank him for his voice and leadership during these tumultuous times. The video can be located here. Please hear his message.
Let us hear your voices. An open dialogue focused on how we can improve our communities will help us move forward. Let us come together to strengthen our commitment to diversity, inclusion and equality.
“If you are neutral
in situations of injustice
you have chosen
the side of the oppressor.”
Jo Ann Simons, Chief Executive Officer, Northeast Arc