Dear Friends and Supporters,
The last few months have been very difficult for many of us with the COVID 19 pandemic. In the midst of this terrible trauma and loss, to have the senseless murder of George Floyd at the hands of those charged with protecting us is tragic and horrific. It is important that we at Development Centers stand for the respect and dignity of all persons and that we fight against injustice wherever we find it. It seems as if the continuous disparity in the COVID 19 crisis and the murder of George Floyd with the many others that came before him declares that Black Lives do not matter. We know that this is not true and we at Development Centers STAND, BELIEVE and AFFIRM that BLACK LIVES MATTER!
We want to be part of the solution and work on meaningful change and reform needed in society so that we help heal the pain, anger, frustration, fear or death that persons of color have experienced for the last 400 years. It is important that all of us pledge actively to disrupt the dehumanizing effects caused by systematic and individual racism. We need to be part of the solution to stop the systematic cycle of injustice for all the people, our staff and our community. Over the next several months, Development Centers is furthering our work with the Health Equity Division of the Michigan Public Health Institute to address equity issues – racial, health disparity, and privilege. Our expectation is to create a more open and equitable organization that best meets the needs of our staff and creates a safe and healthy environment that actively models and advocates for equity for those we serve. We are committed to finding ways to engage in continuous learning and listen to the challenges of our community and develop an awareness of our biases. Overcoming biases can only be done by deep and active self-reflection, education and pledging to advocate for change and commit to diversity, inclusion and justice.
“…But it falls on all of us, regardless of our race or station…to work together to create a new normal in which the legacy of bigotry and unequal treatment no longer infects our institutions or our hearts.” – Barack Obama
Catherine L. Liesman, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer