Headquarters, Inc. declares support for Black Lives Matter.
October 14, 2016
Headquarters, Inc. believes Black Lives Matter. Indigenous Lives Matter. Trans Lives Matter. We also believe that while a statement of support is important, there is much work to be done to ensure the safety of people with marginalized identities. At Headquarters we believe the best way we can contribute to that work is to provide quality services for our community. We will continue to support and counsel our callers in crisis, who frequently feel marginalized, oppressed, unheard, worthless, and hopeless.
We recognize the incredible toll that activism, racism, grief and fighting for dignity, rights and life takes on everyone involved in the struggle. We will work to reach out to and support those individuals involved in the fight in our community and among our volunteers and callers. Headquarters continues to believe that it is our responsibility to create a safe space for marginalized individuals. For almost 50 years, we have operated a crisis line where we hope to increase safety by letting voices of those in pain be heard. We will continue to create spaces for our volunteers to be heard, as well as our callers and clients. We also believe that it is important to ensure that people in the black, indigenous and trans communities hear a specific invitation to use our services, so that there is a place where these individuals can receive emotional support without fear of retaliation.
Headquarters will continue fighting against oppression and the devaluing of all marginalized students on campuses in our community by being a voice for change and dignity. We will continue to align ourselves with agencies that also seek to create positive change in our communities, in our schools, and in our homes. Headquarters seeks to be the suicide prevention leader in Kansas through our training, education and policy work, and will continue to use these activities to give voice to the underrepresented.
We mourn the loss of men like Alton Sterling and Keith Lamont Scott and children like Tyre King. We will say the names of the men, women and children of color who have lost their lives at the hands of brutality and oppression because we understand their value as people. We believe that it is important to shift the narrative of black lives lost to one of not just systemic oppression but also the personal. We hear the pain and loss being experienced by the black community and offer our services as a safe place providing emotional support for those in pain.
We at Headquarters recognize that in order to truly be a safe place for people with marginalized identities our volunteers, staff and board need to reflect the community that we serve. While we have made strides to increase the diversity of our volunteer base we recognize that our Board of Directors is very white. We need to do better. We are committed to creating a Board that is representative of the diversity of our community, so that many voices can be heard. We welcome input from the community how we can bolster inclusion of people of color on our governing body. Additionally, we are committed to having Board representation at community meetings focused on social and racial justice. Our Board of Directors is committed to supporting and uplifting intersectional liberation in Kansas.
Our continued mission is to be "the leader of suicide prevention in Kansas by providing counseling, education and resources for all to improve public health." We hope with this statement of support we are doing more to reach out to the black, indigenous and trans communities which are deserving our support, protection and love. We hear you. We see you.