Dear Italian Home Family,

Times like this stand as a reminder of who we are, why we are here, and what we stand for.  In this case we are specifically reminded of how hard we need to work to do everything we can to be sensitive, proactive, and responsive regarding social injustice.  Personal and institutional racism in this country have impacted the people we serve and our staff long before the horrible events of the past week. In fact, the multi-generational cycle of oppression, poverty and trauma is a major reason why, unfortunately, much of our work is necessary.

It should go without saying that Italian Home for Children stands against racism in all forms, as well as systemic oppression of any group - we all see the painful effects up close every day.   But it is worth repeating anyway: We condemn all acts of hate, discrimination, violence, and oppression.  We stand with everyone who has been affected, and we continually seek to find ways we can create positive change.  If we do not work at this every day, we cannot possibly live up to our foundational Agency Vision, that "all children, adults, and families are embraced and empowered to reach their full potential".

Given the events of the past week we will step up our efforts to help children and families who experience institutional racism, health inequities, economic hardship, isolation, and other unjust conditions.  The COVID crisis, and more recently the news of tragic and horrifying events that occurred because of personal and institutional racism, have caused additional trauma, fear, and isolation for many of the people we serve.  Soon, as quarantine lifts, they will be venturing out into a world that may seem scarier and more uncertain than before, and we need to help them feel safe and strong.  

Our work gives us a window into social injustices in our community, and we will stay attuned to these issues through the eyes and ears of our clients and staff.  Only then can we ensure that we are having the most positive impact possible. 

As much as I am personally sickened by some of what I've seen and heard recently, it gives me a sense of hope to see how hard our staff is working for people who need us now more than ever.  They have worked to create positive change since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, and now during a deeper and more insidious crisis.  I am very proud of them and happy they chose this work.  The support we receive from all of you, in so many ways, is also key in helping us truly make a difference for families and communities.

Gratefully,

Alan Jacobson

Chief Executive Officer

social justice blog