As an organization whose mission is focused on inclusion, we have watched along with the world the recent events surrounding the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery and we are profoundly saddened. The hateful acts that ended these lives also serve as a reminder that the systemic inequality written into the chapters of our country’s history has never been sufficiently addressed.
Racism and prejudice have no place in our organization, and we stand in solidarity with the African American community and all communities of color.
What can we do to affect change? For the past three years The Arc SOMD has trained over 700 police cadets and other first responders across the Tri County region to recognize and respond with sensitivity to situations involving people with disabilities. We hear time and again that having this knowledge has changed the way law enforcement handle situations and it’s changed the way they think about people with disabilities as well. We can all make efforts to learn about what we don’t know or live every day ourselves; the relevant history, current issues, as well as how privileges and bias may shape the lens through which we view the world. We can ask questions and really listen to those who experience injustice and we can speak out against it whenever it is encountered.
Our commitment to a mission of inclusion and acceptance will only be strengthened by these difficult times. We thank you for continuing to stand with us and help us make a difference!
Terry Z. Long CEO
The Arc Southern Maryland