Responding to Racism and Current Events

After a very positive and upbeat start to 2020, we all know that it has been a challenging year for everyone. The coronavirus has impacted our health and taken loved ones from us and the global economy has been impacted in ways never seen before. If that wasn’t already enough for our mental health, the world has recently watched painful experiences of violence and racism that simply cannot be tolerated.

The challenges we face as a society are massive and at times seem unrelenting. There is pain, suffering, fear, anger and frustration and it is impacting all of us. That said, the time to do something about it is now and I remain hopeful that things will change and things will get better, for all of us.

At SAVE I have worked hard to build an organization centered on compassion, for all of those whom we interact with daily. Compassion seems to have been something lost in recent events and I want to be clear that as an organization we do not condone racism, ageism, sexism, harassment, bullying or any form of violence in or outside of the work place. These issues, as evidenced recently with acts of racism in our community where our headquarters is based, cannot be tolerated at all and we will actively work to address these issues as they affect the mental health of all Americans. We want to be advocates for change and where we can influence that in a positive manner, I assure you that we commit to doing so.

I am proud of our efforts to-date to reach out to communities of color and special populations. We have created programs specific for Native Americans and LGBTQ identified individuals and families. We have included race and other unique populations in our presentations and we have staff and volunteers from diverse backgrounds, but it is not enough. Going forward I plan to conduct a thorough analysis of what we have done to address these issues, in particular racism, in our programs and our administrative, staffing and volunteer processes. Our Board has been actively recruiting new members who represent diversity and will continue to do so. We will continue to treat all those who work for or with us with dignity and respect and we will embrace diversity. While none of this is easy or happens quickly, we plan to do our part to ensure that at SAVE you will find safety, equality and fairness in all that we do, because we will not allow for intolerance based on any differences under any circumstances. Together, we will SAVE lives and help change the world.

Dan Reidenberg
Executive Director – SAVE