Last week was a long and tumultuous week for our nation, as voices around the world have come together to denounce the societal impact racism has played in our communities. Disability Network West Michigan stands as an organization against racism, oppression against marginalized populations, and discrimination. As a Center for Independent Living (CIL), we have a longstanding value of upholding and working toward justice for all peoples. We pride ourselves in being a caring community, welcoming and respecting of diversity and working toward social justice locally and across the country. Police brutality and racism must end and we all have a role to play in understanding that racism goes beyond the actions of individuals and is embedded in the very fabric of our society.
As an anti-racism organization we vow to purposefully identify, discuss and challenge issues of race and color and the impacts they have on our organization, its systems, and its people. We will challenge ourselves to understand and correct unveiled inequities and gain a better understanding of ourselves during this purposeful process. Our first step in this commitment is deploying a 21-day racial equity challenge with our staff, leadership and board of directors, focused on understanding the origins of the concept of race, how it influences us as individuals and as an organization, and how it functions to preserve inequity in our laws, institutions and systems.
We hope that you’ll join us in our efforts to develop and implement strategies that dismantle racism. Access the challenge here and scroll down to Day 1 to get started in a deeper learning opportunity with us; to identify and correct our own shortcomings.
This is just the beginning.
Diane Fleser, CEO & DNWM Board of Directors