Kindness is not enough
Statement from HumanKind regarding recent events & racism
We are deeply shaken by the most recent events of hate, violence, police brutality and racial injustice — and these stories of racism and racial bias in our society are not new. Because these instances are a part of a much bigger problem – we need to think bigger, we need to act bigger.
We have taken our time to thoughtfully consider a response to recent events and calls-to-action. We condemn racism and bigotry in all their forms, but words are no longer enough. We must take action and be intentional in our work towards systemic change.
We acknowledge our past as an organization. Regardless of our intentions, regardless of our past efforts, we haven’t always gotten it right or been on the right side of history. Despite being founded in 1903, it wasn’t until the 1960s when we began caring for racially diverse children. We can do better.
We have been focused day-to-day on the powerful services that we provide to individuals and families. This work is important, yet we know that this will not undo centuries of policies that have resulted in systemic racism and inequality. We now recognize that system level and policy level work has to be a part of who we are and what we do. We are thoughtfully considering how to make this a priority in our day-to-day work going forward.
Right now, important conversations are happening internally at all levels of the organization. We are committed to taking the following steps with purpose:
- Continue to live our values of diversity, service, integrity, excellence, teamwork, developing potential, and resilience – transforming lives through high quality programs & services to individuals & families every day.
- Prioritize tough conversations internally, get feedback from our staff, clients, and our board and reflect on how our organization is operating with regards to equity, diversity and inclusion.
- Implement a plan for how we shift from primarily focusing on direct services to increasing our focus on systems level work.
We envision a compassionate society where every person is valued, families are healthy, and communities prosper. But we have a long way to go to achieve this vision. We are fortunate to work with a board and staff at HumanKind committed to be both, Human and Kind. But kindness isn’t always enough, we need to go further. We don’t have all the answers, but we choose to be vulnerable, to listen, to be intentional and to work alongside our community advocating for systemic change.