The protests and outward activism since the senseless killing of George Floyd last month have opened the scab of our nation’s continuing struggle with racism. Our failure as a society to treat everyone fairly and equally has been brought to light; a light none of us can ignore any longer.
Racism and its undeniable effects on us all is not something that can be solved overnight with a one-time slogan. Rather, we must make the decision to own our part in the necessary and ongoing work toward healing. Some may even consider it part of their individual or collective mission.
A strong sense of mission is at the heart of LeadingAge Texas member communities and fuels the work they do daily for and with their residents, staff, and local community. And while the words of each member’s mission are inked differently, at the heart of each lies the commitment to better serve their fellow human beings. Ask any member if they have accomplished their mission and they will likely respond that their mission is ongoing. For although they may be able to highlight certain improvements in the aging services field or in their own community that have been made over time, our members understand that living out their mission is continual work and requires constant re-focusing and re-framing. It is this type of work and focus that our country needs at this time.
LeadingAge Texas and its members are a force for positive change. Nonetheless, even as we strive to improve lives and build communities, we know that we are not perfect or blameless. Historical societal biases exist in our communities and within ourselves. We hope that these awful events and subsequent protests give us pause and inspire us to seriously ponder how our field can be transformed to eliminate inequities that have been built into our communities for far too long. Truly addressing the problems associated with racism in our country demands that we do the work, engage in uncomfortable conversations with our staff and residents, and look inwardly to see whether we ourselves model the behaviors associated with our mission.
This is a time to remember what we stand for and be an active part of the solution. We must continue to foster transformation and policy changes that will lead to a more equitable country and world that treats all individuals with dignity, empathy, and respect. We owe this to the individuals we serve; we owe this to all of our fellow human beings.
George Linial, CAE, CASP
President & CEO
Administrator of Campus Services
Seven Acres Jewish Senior Care Services, Inc.
Thank you George for your lovely article. I support treating everyone equally and with respect! This is not a political issue for me, it is a human rights issue. I appreciated you taking a stand towards making a difference. We can all do better and change must come.