In recognition and standing in complete solidarity with the Black community, MHA of Rockland has decided to join so many other companies (and 47 states plus the District of Columbia) to observe Juneteenth as a holiday this year. Juneteenth — a blending of the words June and nineteenth — is the oldest regular US celebration of the end of slavery.
Therefore this Friday, June 19th, MHA offices will be closed. We will take this time to focus on the critical work ahead in the pursuit of racial justice. We thank our staff for being aware of the racial injustices among coworkers and serving our clients and residents.
With the enormous challenges that we are facing this year, we felt we needed to recognize that the racial trauma the country is experiencing now is not new. That struggle surfaced once again in the national debate and massive Black Lives Matter protests that were sparked by the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers on May 25. While watching the actions over the past weeks there has been a sense that this time is, and has to be, different. It is imperative that we live up to the ideal of moving together in a new united way.
The June 19th holiday commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. But 155 years after the news of their emancipation finally reached slaves in Galveston, Texas, the world is still struggling with the issues of systemic racism and injustice.
MHA of Rockland MHA has fought against injustices and we will continue our efforts to be an antiracist organization. We formed the Diversity Inclusion Awareness and Learning for Ongoing Unity and Equity (DIALOGUE) Committee to respond to a recognized need by the agency to reflect the ever-expanding diverse population of both staff and consumers. The Committee develops, implements and monitors agency practices and procedures and recommends policies to the President/CEO that will enable the agency to become and remain culturally competent.
Cultural competency trainings are done on an ongoing basis for staff, board members, volunteers and interns.
DIALOGUE Committee Members are Brandon Beachamp, Colleen Collier Newton, Jacob Misla, Fay Pettiford, and Sheilah O’Donnell. If you are interested in joining the DIALOGUE Committee, please reach out to Brandon Beachamp at firstname.lastname@example.org.