For weeks, we at CAI have watched as protests unfold around the country in response to the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, and Rayshard Brooks. Many of us have joined these protests, lent our time or money to organizations fighting for Black lives, or otherwise supported the cause in our personal lives; but it hasn’t felt like enough. As an organization that has always advocated for the health of marginalized people, CAI is committed to being an agent of change.
These recent murders are only the freshest wound in a history of traumas the Black community has endured at the hands of white supremacy. We understand that every generation of Black Americans has endured systemic, institutionalized racism - and justice is only the first step to healing. From Black children who are policed every day in their schools to Black trans women who face disproportionate rates of violence and murder, Black people of all experiences uniquely suffer in a culture that upholds white supremacy. We have listened to our Black colleagues about how racism affects their lives, including within the workplace. They are angry, exhausted, frustrated, and need true allyship – an ongoing commitment to solidarity and accountability - to create lasting change. We have work to do.
We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. We are inspired by the number of young people demanding the freedom to live day-to-day without the fear of violence and refusing to stand down until real change is seen. It is this passion and conviction that we truly believe will transform the world.
As an organization specializing in educating and training the health care workforce, we see the effects of racism and white supremacy through vast health disparities. We understand it is our responsibility to leverage our influence to fight against this. It is not enough to know what is right. It is not enough to say what is right. We must act. CAI is committed to the following actions to prioritize institutional antiracism in our work:
- We will continue our commitment to a workplace culture in which shared values are determined by all and where leadership and staff alike are held accountable for reflecting those values. We will expand these values to expressly identify CAI as an anti-racist organization.
- We will engage with our stakeholders, funders, partners, and clients to prioritize antiracism in each one of our projects. We will never set aside our values to appease potential funders.
- We will continue to practice hiring that allows our clients to see themselves reflected in our staff; and consult external reviewers to update our hiring and personnel policies and practices if needed.
- We will embark on a journey of self-reflection to explore, understand, and address implicit bias.
- We will establish a Center for Leadership in Addressing Racism to engage professionals in long-term examination of best practices for leadership in racially diverse groups.
We also understand that there are many Black-led organizations that have been organizing against institutional racism and police brutality for longer than we have. We want to voice our support for these organizations, to whom we’ve donated in support of their incredible work, and encourage our partners to do the same:
We affirm that Black lives matter, and they deserve to be lived with the fullness and freedom that will only come from the end of white supremacy. We are committed to fighting not only for Black people to not be murdered by law enforcement, but for Black people to live to their greatest potential in safe and thriving communities. The goals of this movement are not simple or short-term, but we will be here for the long haul.