June 5, 2020
Black Lives Matter
For more than 50 years, Woodfords Family Services has built an organization founded on community inclusion, respect for diversity, and the protection of the most vulnerable among us. Unfortunately, for far longer than that, people of color, including those with disabilities, have been the victims of racism and violence. We mourn the brutal killing of George Floyd, and ask that our community also learn about and reflect on the needless injuries and deaths across the nation of so many with special needs and mental health challenges in recent years, including Charles Kinsey, Charleena Lyles, Jeremy “Bam Bam” McDole, Stephon Watts, and others. When disability intersects with racial bias, the minority members of our community are at their most vulnerable.
Today, and always, as an organization of social workers, clinicians, direct care providers and others, we unequivocally affirm that black lives matter. The lives of Woodfords’ black staff matter. The lives of Woodfords’ black clients matter. Black lives matter. We stand in support of those in communities across Maine and the nation who are peacefully protesting to oppose racism, demand justice, and in support of black lives.
In times of introspection, Woodfords always turns to its vision and values statements. These tenets provide a roadmap for how we implement our mission with integrity. Today, we call to light the pieces of this vision that seem most relevant: that individuals deserve the space to maximize their potential, and that people deserve to lead lives that are safe and secure. In the same way, we reaffirm our values that support lifelong partnerships and advocacy with those we serve, a deep respect for the diversity of those we serve, and the provision of support with commitment, compassion and understanding.
To this end, Woodfords commits to examine our mission, vision and values through the lens of racial injustice, to learn from the experiences and perspectives of our staff and clients, and to identify concrete ways we can partner with law enforcement and others in positions of power by using our knowledge of and commitment to trauma-informed care to ensure the safety and security of those we work so hard to serve.