The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted communities of color, and in particular, the families we work with. As a program, we are fully committed to improving access to special education services to underserved communities across the city. It is impossible for us to continue to do so without acknowledging the recent events related to the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmed Aubrey in addition to the countless lives lost before theirs at the hands of police brutality and the inequities in our criminal justice system. We as clinicians, advocates, and individuals in this country are deeply saddened by these events.
Racial inequality in this country is one of the reasons that the children in our community do not have the same access to quality special education services as their non-Black peers. Racism is a public health crisis that has caused enormous disparities in not only our education system, but in our healthcare systems, economic systems, and legal systems. We are taking this moment to reaffirm our commitment to serving the Black and Latinx communities and working to dismantle systemic racism.
Our commitment involves a daily effort to listen, reflect, learn, and fight, in big ways and in small. It involves looking inside ourselves, acknowledging the existence of implicit biases, and working to better understand our own places of privilege. It involves educating ourselves about the history of racism in our country. It involves having difficult conversations with our friends and family members. It involves talking to and teaching our children about race in America from the moment they are born. It involves us fighting harder than ever for our families so that their children can have every opportunity for success. We continue to stand in solidarity with our Black patients, colleagues, neighbors, friends, family members, and loved ones today and every day.