Position Statement: Black Lives Matter

Posted July 10, 2020 by CMHA Elgin

At CMHA Elgin, our vision is an inclusive community with mental health and well-being for all.  We strive to live by our values, which include being welcoming and compassionate, demonstrating respect and inclusivity, and exemplifying integrity and accountability.  We pride ourselves on meeting the needs of those who require our support and working with individuals in their journey to recovery.  We pledge to be responsive, resourceful and adaptable and to advocate for those whose voices are not always heard.  We commemorate our achievements, and we plan to continue on our path to excellence.

Nevertheless, with heightened awareness of systemic oppression, CMHA is taking a close look at the organization and through careful scrutiny, determining where we need to change.   We embrace the philosophy of the Black Lives Matter movement in acknowledging, respecting, and celebrating differences and commonalities.  As an organization and as individuals, we know that we have much to learn before we reach true understanding.  We must listen to those who have lived these experiences – with our minds and our hearts – and we must devote our full attention to making changes that last longer than the reactions to current events.

We therefore commit to the following actions:

  • We will examine our organization for systemic racism and implement changes to erase it.
  • We will acknowledge those with privilege and take steps to rectify its associated power.
  • We will advocate for meaningful change within our own organization and other services throughout the community and system in which we work and live.
  • We will listen and learn to understand, guided by empathy and compassion.
  • We will stand in solidarity with members of our community against anti-black racism.
  • We will hold ourselves accountable through policies and practices that support diversity and inclusiveness.
  • We will express our outrage and mourn the tragic loss of lives.
  • We will commit to building a future where mental health for all means equity and justice for all.

CMHA Elgin will listen to those who have the knowledge and experience to speak the truth and acknowledge our privilege to listen and learn.  We will do more and we will do better to ensure a truly inclusive community with mental health for all.