Statement from Sherry McRill, President & CEO, on Racial Justice
We are living through a period of collective grief and pain, and it will resonate in people’s lives for years to come. Recent killings, violent assaults, 40 million unemployed and over 115,000 dead in the United States from COVID-19 have heightened the mental health trauma that many in our Black community are experiencing. These experiences are not new and have a long history in our wider culture. However, it is easy to understand the increasing frustration, isolation, anger, grief, and despair given the current landscape of our beloved city. James Baldwin, said it best in the Fire Next Time, “The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose.”
The leadership team of Northeast Integrated Health (NIH) doesn’t pretend to understand or speculate what you are going through, including the racially motivated injustices that you face daily. NIH is here to listen with empathy, learn, advocate, and help. We are committed to being self-reflective, and to having those difficult conversations that will bring about the changes needed within each of us. The effects of racism and racial trauma on mental health is real and cannot be ignored—Racism is a public health crisis. NIH is committed to helping eradicate the disparity issues head on as a moral imperative. We have a long history of social justice and community development activities that support inclusion, resilience, and racial equity.
Change will take place with time. I believe it will come quicker now that others are standing in solidarity with a commitment to eradicate systemic racism and with justice resolve all its toxic ills. NIH has created an advisory Employee Resource Group (ERG) to engage our employees in dialogue and ensure that everyone in our organization is represented. Utilizing our best practices and inclusionary policies, we have and will continue to advocate for equality and social change. We will also ensure that the voices of employees at every level of the organization have another forum to be heard.