AccessCNY Statement on #BlackLivesMatter

Wednesday, June 10, 2020


To Our Community:

“I can’t breathe.”

If George Floyd can’t breathe none of us can.

It shouldn’t take eight minutes of a Black man gasping for air to create change, but it might.

AccessCNY cannot and will not stand for injustice against any people of color. Racism is immoral and all of us must raise our voices in dissent. We stand with those in our community and across the country who are rising up.

All of us must meet this moment.

George Floyd’s death is not an anomaly. Systemic racism has been part of our country for hundreds of years and is a reality that we must all acknowledge. It’s a truth that all of us need to work towards eliminating.

As a non-profit supporting people with disabilities, AccessCNY stands for equality. Our mission is to create a community where all people belong. Today that mission couldn’t be more important.

We are taking meaningful and immediate steps to increase the voices of people of color within our agency. We are a diverse employer, but our diversity is not seen at our management level. Employees of color at AccessCNY are mostly found in our lowest wage jobs. Our Leadership Team is diverse in some ways, but not in others. We fall short in having Black leadership in our organization. It’s not that we haven’t tried, we just haven’t tried hard enough.

To address these shortcomings, we pledge to immediately take the following actions:

  • Add racial diversity to our leadership team
  • Enhance professional development opportunities so that Black, Indigenous and employees of color can build their leadership skills and advance their career with AccessCNY
  • Alter our recruitment efforts to better reach people of color for all our job openings

Our Board of Directors can and will do better too. Our efforts to recruit board members of color have not been successful. Our board is mostly white. The board and the Governance committee are committed to change and are immediately redoubling their efforts to add multiple black and brown members to our board.

Racism is a social construction. Just as we have built it, we can and must tear it down. Trying and not succeeding is no longer an option. Doing the easy thing is no longer an option.

We will try harder. We will be more successful. We will change.

Together we will move towards equality and a community where all people belong.

Stay Safe & Be Well,

Paul Joslyn
Executive Director