To our beautiful AVOS community,
This is the time to be unequivocal.
This is the time to pull back the veil on our blind spots and sit in discomfort.
We at AVOS are committed to equity, inclusion, diversity and to practicing and becoming an Anti-racist organization. We cannot claim to be a trauma-informed practice without recognizing and addressing racism as a deep source of trauma and pain for people of color. We are especially aware and mindful of the Race-Based Trauma in Black and indigenous communities at this time.
We have always had the values of justice and compassion at the foundation of our practice and the recent protests and acts of civil disobedience have only deepened our dedication to eradicate racial injustice, to serve those affected by Race-Based Trauma, and to dismantle systems of white supremacy.
If you are a person of color, especially BIPOC, we want to be a source of support and love. Our team is committed to racial justice and to being, practicing, and becoming Anti-racist. We want to center beautiful, brilliant voices of color, especially those of Black people. We are in this for the long haul.
If we could speak to the white community, this is the time to recognize that this country has a sordid history for which we, as a collective, have never made amends. White folks, we encourage you to get curious, to dismantle white supremacist bias and beliefs, release the defensive reactions and stop deflecting with individual stories of pain. We need to not only look at systems, but look at our own implicit bias and ways that white supremacy has poisoned us. White supremacy is a white problem, not a problem with which to empathize. We will stumble and make mistakes, but we will keep going.
Black Lives don’t just Matter- that is the minimum. Black lives make the world better, they uplift, they challenge, they inspire and they teach. Black people are our friends, our family and our community and we are all connected to one another. We see you and we love you.
We at AVOS are unequivocally on the side of racial and social justice.
Here are action steps we have taken:
· Set up reoccurring monthly donation to Black Lives Matter and donated to the Anti-Police Terror Project
· Participated on a panel for “Reimagining Small Business,” lead by the brilliant Rachel Rodgers who is holding businesses accountable for being Anti-racist (and we intend to follow her action steps).
· We have always had scholarship slots available to those that need it. We would like to encourage BIPOC who are in need of support of trauma recovery to reach out. We are here.
Here are action steps we are taking in the future:
· We have signed our team up for a training on “Racial Justice from the Heart” with Dr. Amanda Kemp.
· We are committed to continue Anti-Racist trainings for the long-term.
· We are working towards funneling more of our business dollars to the Black community.
· We are committed to seeing the ways in which our company has implicit bias and perpetuates white supremacy and to dismantling those structures.
If you are in need of more learning on racial justice (and who isn’t?) and would like some resources, here is a great reading list put together by the brilliant Victoria Alexander
AND we invite you to not solely rely on self-study. Get involved in the community, support Black and indigenous influencers and thinkers, take anti-racist trainings; get uncomfortable.
Stay in the fight. Keep going. We can create a beautiful world together where all people feel safe, happy and free, but we can’t heal if we don’t first recognize there is a problem.
Sending love, Erica and the AVOS team