June 3, 2020
Responding to the violence playing out across the country
Laurie Mante, Executive Director of Kendal at Ithaca, shared a thoughtful perspective about recent events that are shaping our world. Her words have special meaning for those in health care who have been coping with what COVID-19 has brought to us. Here is her message to all the staff on Tuesday, June 2:
“Right now, every single one of us is experiencing some level of anxiety, distress, anger, and even fear as our world seems to unravel bit by bit. After fighting the COVID-19 virus for months, now we are witness to the murder of George Floyd. The video footage is the worst thing I have ever seen. Our country is in so much pain, and I think so many of us feel lost about how to address this, how to be a witness to this pain, but also how to create something better than this. I certainly have no answers to these questions. I can remind each of us that Kendal values are rooted in the inherent worthiness of every person – our commitment to see people, and honor each other, with RESPECT, CARE and TRUST. Our country is suffering because these values are absent.
Kendal values social justice and our Quaker heritage is rooted in non-violent action. We cannot fix all that is wrong with our world today, but we can re-affirm the values we hold true in our community at Kendal. We can commit to uphold our values of Respect, Care and Trust in every interaction, and we can commit to keep an open mind and heart to create a safe space for anyone in our community to challenge us when we are not living our values. We can commit to create a space for each other to accept each other’s suffering and struggles – we can listen, and we can respond with love and kindness. That won’t fix the country, but we can start here – at our “home”.”
Sean Kelly, Kendal Corporate President and CEO, writing to all members of the Kendal Affiliate communities said, “Now, more than ever, we will speak out and hold up the Values that unite us across the Kendal System. Kendal has no tolerance for hate or any form of discrimination. Living and working together in true community is critical to how we serve and thrive.”
On Thursday, June 4, Kendal at Ithaca will pause for 5 minutes at 2 pm to affirm our concern about this situation and reach into our values to re-affirm our commitment to find a better way. Please consider joining with us from wherever you are.