Dear Friends and Families of CIP,
Today we commemorate Juneteenth.
The recent events related to the death of George Floyd are yet another tragic instance of police brutality, longstanding injustice, and severe inequality that have plagued the American story.
Many aspects of our criminal justice system are broken and millions of Black people have been victimized and unnecessarily arrested, convicted, and incarcerated. Violence, injustice, and racism towards persons of color in America have gone on long enough.
As a father, husband, business leader, and citizen of the world, I feel as though our failure as a society to reconcile the burdens of inequality with the rewards of oppression is the responsibility of this generation and not the next. And although most of us will never understand how this injustice truly feels, we as a community must commit to taking decisive action.
I also recognize as the leader of a business that employees expect much more out of their employers in 2020 than previously, that it is not merely enough to ensure fairness in our employment, educational, and partnership practices, but that we are vocal in the condemnation of injustice in society which is of great importance to all of our stakeholders.
At CIP, we are proud of our diverse and amazing community. We've always believed that learning disabilities are truly learning differences - and differences of all kinds are to be celebrated.
We were founded on the belief that all people are "made for good purpose and inherently valuable" and will continue to stand behind our founding principles by standing in solidarity with the Black community.
We are committed to contributing to this movement in a meaningful and sustained way and are taking the following steps to help ensure we meet this issue with the vigor and pace it so demands:
More careful monitoring of our general employment practices in recruitment, promotion, and compensation practices to ensure equity
Analyzing and amending our internal policies, procedures, and practices as needed to ensure equality and equity at CIP for staff and students
Retraining all management and staff on issues related to Diversity, Inclusion, and Conflict Management
Creating a Diversity & Inclusion Committee comprised of a broad array of CIP employees for advocacy and to help better embrace principles of inclusion, equity, justice, and diversity throughout CIP ongoing
Diversifying our community members, board, and business partners
Shifting the focus of Global Engagement and Student Leadership Programs to include a stronger focus on community engagement in disadvantaged communities locally and around the world
Creating an annual scholarship fund to expand the opportunity of CIP to minorities and persons of color from disadvantaged communities
2020 is a year of intense growth and change for all people as witnessed by the extremely difficult and ravaging effects of COVID-19 countered by the celebration of the supreme courts' recent ruling that federal law forbids job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender.
CIP remains diligently committed to celebrating all differences and sustaining the progress and evolution of our organization and the community we proudly stand in unity with.