OLHSA Takes Action Against Racism With a Commitment to the Community Action Promise Posted: June 12, 2020

OLHSA, a Community Action Agency, stands in support of opportunity for all people. Our community members, especially people of color, have been severely impacted by a relentless pandemic, COVID‐19. Amidst these trying times, where families are coping with overwhelming grief, fear, and economic hardships, they continue to face another more insidious epidemic, racism.

Our community members of color have been harshly impacted by health, economic, and long‐existing racial and social disparities. We have heard the personal stories of community members of color having to make tough decisions to survive the pandemic all while continuing to endure racism’s ongoing adverse impacts.

This is the time for change! In partnership with our community members, OLHSA is here to be a voice that raises awareness and addresses the individual and systemic causes of poverty.

Racism is destructive for people, families, and our communities. Racism is counterproductive to creating a thriving society. Racism hurts everyone. Now is the time to do more than think about uncomfortable topics.

To address equity and be a community voice of change, OLHSA will have this internal focus:

  • Continuously educating ourselves on local and national issues that impact under‐served, underresourced, and under‐represented communities including racism, health disparities, economic injustice, and environmental justice.
  • Participating in implicit bias training as an agency.
  • Reviewing internal policies to root out supremacist viewpoints/practices and move toward eliminating any of those policies/practices from our organization.
  • Ensuring OLHSA’s board remains diverse, inclusive, and equitable. To be a catalyst for change in the community, OLHSA will have this external concentration:
  • Advance the work as an anti‐racist agency and advocate for those affected by racism.
  • Consistently support community leaders, activists, public and private sector stakeholders, non‐profits, and organizations that are working to address complex issues that will help our communities, families, and individuals heal from the trauma of racism and inequality.

We urge you to join us in taking action to support individuals impacted by racism in the following ways:

  1. Take personal responsibility for racial equity – get educated on racial equity personally and professionally. Find resources on racial equity at www.OLHSA.org/advocate.
  2. Be committed to taking action to be an ally for those impacted by bias.
  3. Model racial equity at all times.

Community Action is rooted in the civil rights movement. We believe all people should have access to opportunity, live in decency, and with dignity. We are committed to the Community Action Promise: Community Action changes people’s lives, embodies the spirit of hope, improves communities, and makes America a better place to live. We care about the entire community and we are dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other.

For a PDF of OLHSA stance on racism, CLICK HERE.