Dear Angela’s House Employees and Community,
Angela’s House has been committed to the struggle for human rights for decades. Since the horrors and indignities exposed at the Willowbrook State School, our fight has advanced high-quality treatment, dignity, and self-determination for people with disabilities. We have sought justice for a group of people for whom a rightful stake in their own community has been denied.
The connection of our mission, historically and presently, to the plight of communities of color unites us in purpose. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, for the first time in history, provided legal protection to people with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act, passed in 1990, furthered these protections to grant those with disabilities equal access to employment and public accommodations. It was, however, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that provided federal protection against discrimination against minorities that paved the way for similar legal safeguards for people with disabilities. As we continue our mission to ensure equal access and quality of life for those we serve, we cannot ignore the parallel fight against the injustices and indignities perpetrated by acts and attitudes of racism.
The horrific deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others painfully remind us that, over a half-century since the passage of the Civil Rights Act, individual and systemic racism continue to plague our society. We write today to affirm that Angela’s House stands proudly with our employees and the community in the fight for social justice, racial equality, and human dignity for all people. Our organization represents a diverse group of employees and individuals; through our diversity, we are brighter, stronger, and possess greater potential for positive growth and transformative change. Together, we must help sustain an environment where every person feels welcome, heard, valued, and safe. When we succeed at this, we advance our ability to serve individuals, each other, and the betterment of society.
These times have become overwhelming for many, and unbearable for some. For those who need assistance, please seek support from loved ones, friends, and professionals. We offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) program and our HR department is prepared to help. We can directly impact change through our daily interactions with one another, and in the values embraced as an organization. In the workplace, home, and community, create and encourage others to foster a sense of belonging. Be mindful of the words we choose and the attitudes they may reflect or imply. Listen empathically to the perspective and experiences of others. On a macro level, contact local and state representatives to urge legislation advancing social justice, support organizations that advocate for civil rights, and join collective efforts to eliminate discrimination and structural racism.
Please know that Angela’s House will continue to advocate for the rights of individuals, ensure respect and dignity for our employees, and support the advancement of equality and justice across society.
Be safe, strong, and contribute to positive progress,
Bob Policastro, Executive Director, Angela’s House
Walter Stockton, CEO, IGHL
Affiliate Management Team