The ITA community continues to ache in response to the murder of George Floyd and all Black people killed due to police brutality across the United States. We recognize the repeated and systematic injustice committed by law enforcement toward unarmed Black individuals, and we acknowledge that law enforcement’s negligent and biased actions cause irreversible damage to Black families and communities.
The lack of accountability demanded from law enforcement regarding this issue goes directly against ITA’s mission to serve our communities and support their growth and healing. Fearing for one’s life and safety, experiencing repeated racism, and witnessing race-based violence leads to significant stress and trauma. We stand committed to being a part of healing of individuals, families, and communities for whom this violence impacts, and we also call for systemic change that prevents further violence and harm caused by police brutality. ITA affirms that Black lives matter and that Black lives deserve true dignity and freedom, which cannot be afforded within systems ridden with prejudice and violence.
We urge our community to stand together and denounce the systematic violence against Black people. We hope for change and peace to come when we are in solidarity against hatred.
The ITA Staff and Board of Directors are coming together to create a plan to promote a culture of anti-racism within our organization and the community we serve. We will be taking immediate action on the following:
- We will assemble a team of program managers to work together to identify new partnerships that would allow us to better serve the Black community, especially Black youth.
- This team will also invite conversations with our existing partners to explore how we can work together to address institutionalized racism within their schools and facilities.
- We will identify the barriers that inhibit Black families from accessing creative arts therapy, such as transportation and childcare, and will work to break down those barriers to make our services more accessible.
- Our staff will be participating in training that will force us to examine our own personal biases and racist behaviors so that we are better equipped to serve people of color.
- We will offer more frequent trainings on trauma-informed approaches for clinicians, educators and teaching artists.
- Our therapists will find ways to be more integrated in the communities we serve and join local networks and committees so we can work toward making systematic changes outside of weekly therapy sessions.
- We will continue to work to diversify our board and staff to better reflect our client population.
If you are interested in joining us, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how you would like to support our efforts. We have opportunities for volunteers, internships, and creative arts therapists looking for work. If you would like to learn more about joining our Board of Directors, contact Executive Director, Jenni Rook.
Finally, if you would like to explore partnering with ITA to create new programs for underserved communities and/or would like to financially support such programs, please contact Development Director, Jessica Gardner.