We stand in solidarity with #BlackOutTuesday. Here’s why:
We are a charity that exists to serve all children and youth with learning challenges. We know that doesn’t mean we can just open our door and expect “all” those children and youth to walk in. We know we need to always be learning and doing more to actively understand who EACH and every one of those children and their family are. Each individual child and their family deserves our humility, respect, understanding and time. Each individual child and their family deserve our hard work to make sure we are serving them, and that we are continually doing what we can to dismantle the systems – including those that operate internally – that may pose barriers to their full participation. Each individual child deserves to feel LDS is actively creating and holding a safe space for them.
This is our commitment to standing up against racism and injustice:
We commit to doing active learning and training in diversity, equity and inclusion, and anti-oppression throughout our organization and to responsively changing our structures. We commit to zero tolerance for and to actively calling out racism, bias, discrimination and injustice. We commit to listening to Black, Indigenous and other Peoples of Colour and their communities on ways we can better hear, include and serve them individually and collectively. And we commit to reporting back to our community at least quarterly on our work and seeking your feedback.
We thank the communities of allies, educators, activists, philanthropists and others who are helping us, a predominantly white organization, learn more about how we can take responsibility without putting the emotional labour on those who are fighting ongoing oppression. We encourage everyone to seek out ways they can advance their own learning and take action in a way that is appropriate for them.
To those within our community who are racialized and who are experiencing oppression and discrimination, we know your resilience and strength and we want to do our best to support you and be an ally. Please know you belong here, and wherever else you choose to be.
Please reach out any time with your thoughts, ideas and feedback.
Humbly on behalf of the LDS Team,
Rachel S. Forbes, Executive Director