Camden, NJ (June 1, 2020) - In a statement from Richard Stagliano, President/CEO of Center For Family Services, he notes:
"All of us feel the impact of the dreadful events in recent weeks. These terrible actions strike us with the social inequities and hurt that plague our society.
George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and the many others that have needlessly fallen victim over these past many weeks and years shed a painful light on disadvantages that people of color face, and the failure of systems within our country to protect all people and particularly people of marginalized populations. The coronavirus pandemic of the past few months further shines a light on the gross inequities that exist.
As president and CEO at Center For Family Services for nearly 40 years, I continue to witness the gross inequities that exist across our communities and the barriers these inequities create for too many. This year Center For Family Services recognizes our 100th year serving children and families. We continue to provide life-changing and life-saving services to help those most in need, but all of us need to do more to advocate for true social change and justice for every member of our community.
Sadly, the appalling events that led to the loss of these lives, and too many others, show the worst of society and the systemic racism that persists across our communities and across our nation. We at Center For Family Services acknowledge the institutional racism that exists in our nation and in our own communities. Four hundred years of maltreatment is unacceptable and must end. May those whose lives were lost rest in peace and may their lives serve to bring social inequities to the forefront to effect real change that is long overdue. For too many years we have continued to hear the sad stories of the unjust taking of human life due to racism and social injustice. We grieve with their families for the senseless loss of their lives.
Center For Family Services stands against all racism and implicit bias that exists within many of our systems that are supposed to ensure all people have access to fair judicial treatment, educational success, quality health care, food security, housing, and socioeconomic mobility.
Access to quality healthcare is a human right. Food is a human right. A living wage and access to childcare are human rights. Housing is a human right. We see how these systems are breaking down during the coronavirus pandemic, but for many, this is not new. This is only a spotlight into the stark reality that we know too well through our experience working with people who encounter constant barriers to meet the basic needs of their families.
The inequalities in health outcomes are clearly due to the differences in social conditions, and the root cause is systemic racism. The way the coronavirus has disproportionately affected marginalized populations is a clear example of inequities in health outcomes. Sadly, racism is pervasive, and in too many situations over many years, deadly.
We need to come together to talk about the root causes of the inequities revealed by the continual acts of violence against people of color. At the same time, we must not lose sight of other disparities that continue to plague our communities and our nation.
Every community in our nation must confront these gross inequities head on.
We, at Center For Family Services, acknowledge that these societal inequities are real and significant barriers to people and communities working to reach their full potential.
This is a call for all of us as citizens of our nation and as human beings to reexamine our values. It is not enough to be “not racist”…we must do better. We must be actively anti-racist. We must advocate and call out racism at every turn. Lives are being lost and we must do better to acknowledge this crisis, increase the level of conversation, and take steps to affect change.
I ask you to join with me to come together and bring about important changes that have far too long traumatized too many individuals, families, and communities. Together we must advocate for the change necessary to bring social justice to our communities.
I ask you to keep this at the forefront of your collective memory every single day. Find ways to advocate for what is right, for what is just, for the change that is necessary and long overdue. To achieve a just and equitable society, it is critical that we all take responsibility to have continued conversations about equity and work together to change systems for the better.
Center For Family Services will continue our efforts to keep a conversation going about social justice, inequity, systemic racism, and cultural diversity. We will work with community members to continue to expand our efforts for social advocacy.
For many of you this is more than just a social issue, but rather a truly personal issue, and one that you have faced throughout your life. Center For Family Services stands with you and will fight for social justice so that no black person is treated unfairly."
Richard Stagliano is the President/CEO of Center For Family Services. Center For Family Services is a cornerstone of your community and a beacon of hope for children and families across New Jersey. With a history dating back to 1920, Center For Family Services continues to expand our presence across New Jersey and has an in-depth understanding of community needs, a breadth of organizational knowledge, extensive partnerships, and strong relationships throughout the community and state. Most importantly, Center For Family Services remains responsive to the ongoing and changing needs that exist within our community.