Who: ATS leaders, team members, families, self-advocates, and members of the communities we serve who are interested in listening, learning, and leading change.
When: Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 7:30PM EST
Where: Google Meet (a link will be sent to those who directly RSVP)
Why: The following is adapted from a company message shared by our President/CEO and Founder, Rick Murray:
It’s difficult to find the words to express the sadness and disappointment we have with the racial disparity in our country. The senseless murder of George Floyd at the hands of the police that are to protect and serve should be unfathomable. Sadly though, there are many examples of this type of brutality: Freddie Gray, Breonna Taylor, Antwon Rose Jr., Michael Brown, Ahmaud Arbery, and Trayvon Martin are just a few of the names that come to mind, yet the list is so much longer. It’s impossible to not see the need for us as individuals and as an organization to do more. It’s clear that we have not done enough and we are committed to changing that.
Our hearts break for those who have directly experienced this level of injustice, for those who have indirectly suffered, and for the collective whole with the state that our world is in. We vow to enhance our efforts now so that we can be both a voice and listening ear, ultimately to be part of a critical solution that has waited far too long.
We wish to host a Virtual Discussion so that we may have a supportive and honest conversation. Our core value is, “People matter. A concept so simply stated, yet powerfully embraced.” However, historically and currently that value has not been reflected in our society. Much of our society, including myself, will never understand what it is like to be judged, targeted or worse yet, attacked simply because of the color of our skin. As a company, as a team, and as the ATS family, we proudly and collectively recognize that black lives matter.
Internally, ATS recognizes that now, more than ever, we need to increase our efforts with cultural awareness and competency. The overarching goal is to learn from each other; identify what we can best do to support our team members, families, and their surrounding communities; develop a strong Cultural Diversity Plan; and promote growth from our organization that will flow into our communities.
As Nelson Mandela once said, “We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make the difference.”
In a time when our world needs stability and compassion, I urge each of you to continue to embody who we are as an organization. Embrace who you are. Be kind to each other. Seek support when you need it. We are here and see each of you.
Please join us Thursday night and together, let’s create positive change. Members of ATS leadership and staff will facilitate the evening’s discussion.
How: Please RSVP to Catherine Hughes, Director of Family Support and Community Engagement by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and enter “RSVP for Cultural Competence Discussion” in the subject.