United for Justice
Camden, NJ (August 11, 2022) - In a statement from Richard Stagliano, President/CEO of Center For Family Services, he notes:
"Center For Family Services continues to recognize the many hardships in our ever changing world and vows to keep conversations around social justice going.
Too many people have insurmountable obstacles in their way. These obstacles are often in place not because of anything an individual has done wrong or because they are a “bad” person, but because they were born into an unfair system. This trauma and suffering often gets passed down from generation to generation, ensuring a cycle of oppression. Our society tends to live under the impression that everything is equal, that we all have the same opportunities in life. However, that’s not our reality. We do not all have equal access to prosperity. There are systems put in place to ensure that social privileges are only given to some.
Whether it’s voting rights being chipped away, the introduction of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, rampant gun violence, or structural racism, there are many stress-inducing social issues in our lives. These conditions negatively affect individuals, children, and communities. We cannot sit back and watch these injustices take place.
As staff of Center For Family Services, we have a responsibility to educate others, to advocate for policy change that will have a dramatic impact, and to ultimately do the right thing. After all, it is our mission to empower people and their communities. Many of us work with individuals who have been disadvantaged since day one. We see the negative impact that trauma caused by systemic failure has. We must not only work to help these individuals heal, but to create large-scale change.
Some may say that they are not interested in social justice or that their lives are not affected by systemic problems. We cannot be complicit. Our world is strengthened when we fight for the rights of one another. It’s possible to stand for individual freedom and collective community.
I encourage everyone to find a cause you care about or relate to and use your voice. You do not need to be a massive fighter to make a difference. There are smaller ways to stand up for what you believe in. Whether it’s calling your local officials or volunteering your actions are powerful.
At times, it may feel like there is nothing you can do to solve our society’s problems. We must not let that get in the way of making a difference. Remember why you got started, why you care. Think of social justice work as a marathon, not a sprint. We are in it for the long haul. It takes time to make systemic change and to change mindsets, but the pendulum does shift. Progress can be made.
Please remember to take care of yourself and one another while doing this critical yet intense work. You must incorporate self-care into all areas of your life. It’s important to never lose your sense of compassion and empathy. At the same time, you have to be able to take a step back and care for yourself. This means setting up boundaries, having a work life balance, taking time off, and talking to your support systems. Finding practices that work for you is key.
Wellness is about more than just self-care, it’s also a social justice issue. Social conditions shape our health, and if you experience social injustices your quality of life is negatively impacted. This can take the form of mental health issues, lower life expectancy, and higher rates of chronic disease. These health disparities are rooted in our society’s unequal distribution of resources. No one should have to bear these burdens and have their humanity ignored. Health and wellness are human rights.
Working towards a more perfect world is not easy, but by using our power to care for one another, treat others as human beings, and respect our differences we can accomplish significant change. We can only do this by collectively standing united for justice.
When we are on the side of social justice, we are on the right side."
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.