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Image by John Hain from Pixabay

In February, RCPA members joined organizations across the nation in celebrating Black History Month. There are countless ways to celebrate Black History – the sky is the limit! Below are several highlights to acknowledge these efforts and inspire more opportunities to celebrate and learn!

Step by Step, Inc. used an established internal communication mechanism, “TRE-Bits” (Trauma-Informed, Resilience-Oriented, Equity-Focused), to share articles with all staff. They shared information about the history of black history month, why history matters, and intergenerational trauma. Read one shared article here: TREbit HISTORY MATTERS.

Apis Services, Inc. hosted a panel conversation “What’s It Mean to Lean Into DEI?” based on the work of Dr. Robert Livingston, author of The Conversation: How Seeking and Speaking the Truth About Racism Can Radically Transform Individuals and Organizations. They also shared targeted ways to celebrate – encouraging staff to read Black literature, volunteer, support Black artists and black-owned businesses, organize events, and learn about Black History. View the infographic for 13 unique and exciting ways to get involved; you can also celebrate through the five actions of volunteering, reading, donating, supporting, and learning.

The AmeriHealth Caritas BAND (Black Associate Network for Diversity) shared inspirational images and quotes by Black Americans on their internal website. See examples in their BAND Associate Campaign. AmeriHealth also hosted a panel discussion with senior leaders in the company to reflect on the poem “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou. Participants shared their stories and experiences of strength, perseverance, and ambition.

The Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital (an IPRC Member) Pediatrics Department hosted a 1,248 foot march commemorating the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, recruiting hospital staff and patients to join along the way. When the honorary march concluded, patients and families discussed the importance of Black history and the civil rights movement, and they held an age-appropriate discussion of what transpired after the 1965 march. Learn more here.

Have you heard of “Beyond28?” More than just the title of a popular podcast, Beyond28 has become synonymous with the campaign encouraging the celebration of black history all year round, as 28 days just isn’t enough time to celebrate the rich history of Black Americans.

The Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee encourages all RCPA members to consider new ways to celebrate Black history next February and all throughout the year!

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Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

Beyond the Comfort Zone: Understanding and Eradicating Injustice, Racism, and Inequality in the Field of Developmental Disabilities
May 18, 2022

HRC Nassau, in conjunction with The Arc of the United States, is proud to present a conference focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within the intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) community.

The DEI Virtual Conference, “Beyond the Comfort Zone: Understanding and Eradicating Injustice, Racism, and Inequality in the Field of Developmental Disabilities,” will be held May 18, 2022. The DEI Virtual Conference seeks to increase fluency and understanding of the history, challenges, and opportunities impacting people with I/DD and the staff who work with them.

FREE NASW Continuing Education Credits Available
NASW-NYS is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers (Provider ID #0014), licensed mental health counselors (Provider ID #MHC-0053), licensed marriage and family therapists (Provider ID #MFT-0037), and licensed psychologists (Provider ID #PSY-0088).

Visit here for more information.

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Digging Deeper: School Policing in Allegheny County
Slots still available for free webinar
April 7, 2022, 2:00 pm–3:30 pm EST

Schools should be safe places for learning, but the increased presence of police in schools has made schools less safe for some students, particularly students of color and students with disabilities. As school administrators, school boards, parents, and advocates seek to better understand the role police are playing in their schools, it is important to both listen to students and to critically examine data. But can the community count on data about school policing in schools? A recently-released report by ACLU of PA, Student Arrests in Allegheny County Schools: The Need for Transparency and Accountability, has found serious discrepancies and inconsistencies in how schools report student arrests and citations. While flawed, some patterns clearly emerge, including that race and disability-based disparities in policing are greater in Pennsylvania than the national averages, and that Pittsburgh has higher rates than other parts of the state. The co-authors of the report will present their findings, and we’ll discuss the implications.

Race + Disability Check-in: Representation in Media and Society
April 19, 2022, 12:00 pm–1:30 pm EST

1 in 4 people in the US has a disability, yet disability is not widely portrayed in mainstream culture. Movements like #DisabilityTooWhite have shone a light on the limited scope of disability representation in media and society. In this interactive lunchtime conversation, we will unpack mainstream depictions of disability with an eye to how they engage with white supremacist culture as well as how they harm people people of color and people with disabilities.

You can always find the full list of upcoming programs here and recordings from past programs here.