For 8 minutes and 46 seconds the world watched as George Floyd was killed. We cannot unseen what we saw, and we cannot go back to a world where systemic racism exists; and is tolerated and ignored.
George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Travon Martin are a few of the many African-Americans that have been killed due to the racial injustice of our society. African-Americans continue to cry out for justice, cry out for change, cry out to be treated equally under the law in practice and in theory. As a result, we can no longer be silent.
The Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Association (PRA) is committed to the advancement of rehabilitation to promote full inclusion of people with disabilities into the mainstream of our society. To fulfill this vision, we must build a culture of inclusion and be willing to acknowledge and admit when racial inequality emerges. We must speak out against systemic oppression and discrimination, whether it comes from unconscious bias or conscious actions by existing institutions that negatively and disproportionately affect the African-American Communities.
As an organization, our call to action in addressing these social injustices is to continue to inculcate our members, communities and partners on all perspectives concerning diversity, equity and inclusion. We will continue to work with other organizations such as the National Association of Multicultural Rehabilitation Concerns (NAMRC) and the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University to promote awareness, education and advocacy to accomplish this. As stated in the CRC Code of Ethics, C.1.a. “Rehabilitation counselors address attitudinal barriers that inhibit the growth and development of their clients, including stereotyping and discrimination.” All codes of ethics have a call to promote social justice and the holistic wellness of each client. Therefore, PRA is committed to:
- Listening with open minds and open hearts
- Learning to be better allies in the fight for racial equality
- Being culturally aware and competent of our members, community and partners
- Standing up against systemic and institutional barriers that result in discriminatory behavior against one’s race, religion, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, age and more
We honor the dignity of each person and work to help each achieve their full potential.
[MH2]I would find another word.