A Memo from Raul Garza, Aunt Martha’s President & CEO – A Continued Call-to-Action

To All Employees,

In calendar year 2019, more than 70 percent of the patients and clients who turned to Aunt Martha’s were people of color. One-third of those we served identified themselves as being Hispanic or Latino in ethnicity. More than half (55 percent) identified themselves as African American.

These numbers are more than statistics. They represent this organization’s commitment – your commitment – to serving and to caring for those who historically have been underserved at best, and often left to fend entirely for themselves. They also represent Aunt Martha’s. They represent you and I. Today, for the first time in its proud history, Aunt Martha’s has people of color serving in the roles of both CEO and Chief Operating Officer. Overall, more than 75 percent of the agency’s staff (including close to 60 percent at the leadership level) are people of color, representing and reflecting at every level of the organization the experiences and challenges faced every day by the people we serve.

Our commitment to and achievement (at least relative to many other organizations) of true diversity up, down and across our organization can and should be a source of pride. More importantly, it must continue to be a call-to-action.

The self-reflection, difficult conversations and the rightful demands for justice and change throughout society brought about by the tumult of the past weeks are merely the beginning. The depth of the depravity and discrimination to which so many are subjected must be eradicated, but it must never be forgotten.

As an organization that is committed to diversity and inclusion, and that celebrates the strengths of every individual, we must never allow ourselves to accept – individually or as an organization – anything less than the full and true realization of the HUMAN RIGHTS of every person in our community. That challenge sits with each of us. We are called to carry it and to live its truth in our homes, our neighborhoods and our workplace.

Finally, however, we cannot allow ourselves to be distracted from the continuing, global health crisis of the coronavirus. I have repeatedly urged each of you to take the precautions necessary to protect yourselves and your families. This is particularly important for those who might make trips across the state line, where although the restrictions may be fewer, the health risks remain the same. I would be remiss if I did not continue to echo my previous requests. The decisions we make as individuals will have a direct impact on our families, our coworkers and those we serve. I ask you all, once again, to please take care.