On June 14, 2016 I published a special mid-month post to my CEO blog. Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital’s June 13 Leadership Forum was on the topic of equity, diversity and inclusion. This had been planned months before, but the discussion couldn’t have felt timelier having followed less than 48 hours after tragic gun violence at a gay night club in Orlando, Florida.
Today is another day to address violence in the world. Today we stand in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters and especially with the family and friends of the victims of the tragic and deadly act of terrorism at a Quebec mosque Sunday night.
I don’t have any better words, than the ones I used last June. In talking to our leaders and subsequently on my blog I said:
I don’t know who first shared with me the idea that we all carry around our individual (metaphorical) backpack. It might have been Holland Bloorview’s Louise Kinross or something I read in her wonderful BLOOM Blog or maybe I picked it up somewhere else. In our backpack we carry with us our experiences, our perspectives, our life choices, our culture and tradition, even whether getting the kids off to school this morning was smooth or WWIII! And as it is an invisible backpack, we can’t ever know what’s in the one that another person carries. But we know they carry it, and it affects who they are, what they say, how they react.
Now, because of the act of hate and violence that happened in our own country there will be clients, caregivers, family members, volunteers and staff who today feel less safe than they did 48 hours ago. Their backpacks will be heavier today, and in the days and weeks to come.
Equity, diversity and inclusion is important every day, especially for an organization whose purpose is serving children who face being marginalized in so many aspects of their lives. We are probably among the world’s experts on strength and resilience…taught by our clients and families. And we pride ourselves on being leaders in compassionate care.
Embracing hope and solidarity even, and perhaps especially, in dark times, we must build a better, more inclusive, more just world for our children and all children. Inshallah.