Striving to Be An Anti-Racist Agency
We have been appalled by the senseless murder of George Floyd, and stand with our South Minneapolis neighbors in saying “Enough!” Racism has been a part of many of our institutions and it hurts us all.
The staff and board of the Family Enhancement Center have been struggling with how, as an agency, we can authentically respond to this latest injustice against a person of color. We have had difficult conversations, supported one another and tried to make sure our staff persons of color know that the Family Enhancement Center has their back. But frankly, that is not enough.
As an agency, we always strive to hold up the weak and assist those victims of abuse and trauma. In our work with children and families, we hear many difficult stories and are continually inspired by the determination and capacity of families to heal.
We are called to dig deeply and explore how our individual and agency actions may unwittingly support a system of oppression and systemic racism.
We want to be an anti-racist agency . How are we making that a reality? This is our renewed commitment.
The Family Enhancement Center staff and board members will begin a several month process, exploring individual and agency practices that could contribute to the continuation of oppression and discrimination against people of color.
We will continue to bring people who reflect the communities that we serve into positions of power, within the agency.
Our staff will respectfully engage our clients of color for feedback about how well we’re serving them–especially in regard to supporting them to overcome years of oppression, white supremacy and institutional racism. We will listen to their answers and make changes in our service delivery based on their input.
The Family Enhancement Center will examine where intersections with other agencies could shine light onto ways that our clients of color suffer due to unfair treatment within our community.
We know this is not enough. We will keep this challenge to change at the forefront of our visioning for years to come; adding new tactics and practices as we learn.
Jennifer Brooks reported in the StarTribune on June 7 of an 11-year-old who stood near the place where George Floyd died. She said: “Just know that you’re strong. Things like this happen, but you have to stand up.”
As Ms. Brooks said – the kids are watching our response.
We know this is the time to finally create real change.