A Message for Our Community from Executive Director Arlene Goldsmith
Our nation is in the midst of an unprecedented national catastrophe. The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Eric Garner, Breonna Taylor and so many others in our Black and Brown communities demonstrates how little progress this country has made on racism. We mourn their loss and are grieved and outraged by their deaths. The words, “I can’t breathe” resonates with all of us. The death of George Floyd has ignited a global cry for immediate and real change.
Over the decades, despite repeated attempts to stand up to horrific events of blatant persecution and oppression, we have been unable to end a system of corrosive structural racism. New Alternatives for Children (NAC) supports protest as a right of all Americans. The protests are an expression of profound hurt and rage against profiling, police brutality, and years of racial violence and discrimination. Reforms in public safety systems and enhanced training of our police force must be mandated for every precinct in this country in order to effect meaningful change. Our hope is that the system can be re-imagined as guardians for all communities. Families of color do not feel safe. We have witnessed this at New Alternatives for Children, in settings where our families receive services including schools and health care, housing, or public assistance offices. The current COVID19 pandemic has disproportionally affected Black Americans which has added to the frustration, anxiety and fear that we are seeing in our children and their parents. Our staff is working to help with this trauma, and will continue to confront the extraordinarily complex issues we are facing as an agency working with a vulnerable population.
NAC remains committed to battling racial injustice and promoting racial equity for all people. Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program will continue to examine and promote diversity and cultural humility within the entire NAC community. We will expand our training and will listen, learn, examine and educate ourselves and others. We are implementing strategies in NAC programs to address racial inequities and advance race consciousness within and outside of the NAC community.
We will continue to raise our voice with our funding sources, the government, and partners. As an agency, we reject the systemic racism of Black and Brown Americans and will do our part to bring about healing and transformative change in our city and country.
~Arlene Goldsmith, LCSW, Ph.D