Before we share our anti-racism statement, we'd like to highlight a few words from our CEO, Mary Monnat:
This anti-racist statement stems from our efforts to make LifeWorks NW a more culturally responsive, equitable and inclusive organization. Spurned to deeper action by witnessing both the jarring murder of George Floyd and the systemic racial injustice it so painfully revealed, and the gross health inequities for people of color laid bare by the global pandemic, we embarked as an organization on a journey to better serve all those with addiction and mental health challenges, especially our consumers of color. After much listening and learning from those most impacted by racism and injustice within our organization, Lifeworks NW has committed to become an anti-racist organization where all we care for and those who provide care here are truly welcomed, respected and loved for who they are.
Our efforts build on earlier progress and years of striving to provide more culturally effective and responsive services. Only now, with the gift of a much deeper awareness stemming from bearing witness to such injustices and listening more closely to the experiences of our staff of color, we add a deeper and crucial organizational self-examination and an urgency to center our anti-racist work at the heart of all we do. We recognize that there is a long road ahead and we thank you for your willingness to join us on this important journey.
LifeWorks NW is committed to addressing racism and oppression in all forms. We recognize the impact of ongoing racism and discrimination on our consumers' mental health and well-being, particularly our consumers of color. We also recognize the adverse impact racism and oppression have on our workforce and acknowledge that we are an organization comprised of systems that have perpetuated harm through structural racism. We commit to evaluate and correct our own systemic practice, institutional legacies and unconscious biases that perpetuate white supremacy and other forms of oppression.
We commit to dismantling all forms of racism and oppression and as a healing, trauma informed organization call ourselves to higher standards to incorporate anti-racist practices across all our services and systems. Our commitment is more than words and is reflected in the following actions. We commit to:
- Interrupt all forms of racism and oppression, including disruptive and oppressive language and behaviors and take appropriate remedial or disciplinary action as needed.
- Review all program and agency policies and procedures through an equity lens to address disparities and inequities.
- Operationalize our organizational equity assessment tool.
- Identify specific goals to become an anti-racist organization in our annual Equity & Inclusion Improvement Work Plan and hold ourselves accountable for results.
- Create, maintain and sustain an environment that is respectful and inclusive and creates belonging for all.