The Human Services Council of New York (HSC) recognizes that racism exists in society. Beyond individual prejudice, racism is both historic and structural in nature.
We recognize that racism affects communities served by human services organizations. This includes the inequitable distribution of resources that are the result of economic and politically determined policies in our society. Racism has a wide ranging impact on the lives of people, including individuals, families, and organizations, and affects relationships within, among, and across diverse groups.
Given the disproportionally high number of people of color served by human services agencies, it is especially important to understand how racism affects communities being served by providers. It is also essential to acknowledge and understand that staff and governance bodies within human services organizations are affected and influenced by racism in society.
HSC further recognizes that, fundamentally, racism reflects a complex set of factors that are usually not acknowledged or addressed within the broader human services provider community and that education and training are essential in order to understand how it is occurring, as well as to take steps to remedy it, where possible.
To this end, HSC has an educational role to play, with its members as well as with the human services community in general, starting with educating its own Board and staff. Human services leaders and providers are able to improve their services when they understand the impact of racism and learn ways to change their systems to promote equity and support the healing and strength of the people we serve.
HSC also has a significant role to play in addressing racism though advocacy and collaborations with other organizations whose central purpose is to address the needs of all communities.
Passed unanimously by the HSC Board of Directors at its May 9, 2013 meeting.