Safe Berks Equity and Inclusion Statement
Safe Berks is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment where all staff, residents, clients, board members, and volunteers feel safe and empowered to stand up to oppression of all kinds. We believe that the collective sum of our individual differences, life experiences, knowledge, creative outlets, innovative approaches and solutions, unique capabilities, and talent that our employees exhibit in their work represents the quality of our life-saving services. Reflective of the community we serve and embrace, we celebrate differences in age, color, disability, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity, or expression, language, national origin, physical and mental ability, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, veteran status, and other characteristics that make our employees unique.
Who We Serve
Safe Berks serves all victims and/or survivors of domestic violence or sexual assault. All of our Services are free of charge (with the exception of Bridge House), available in English and Spanish, and completely confidential. We are trauma informed and culturally competent. Our facilities are welcoming and open to all who need us.
Safe Berks does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, age, religion or religious creed, disability or handicap, sex or gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, genetic information, Title IX, sovereignty, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state or local law. Retaliation is also prohibited.
All Safe Berks employees, Board members, partners, and program participants are expected to join with and uphold this commitment. Unlawful discrimination offends the organization’s Values which includes respecting the dignity of all individuals while appreciating our differences and celebrating and honoring our diversity.
Any member of the Safe Berks community, including employees, beneficiaries, and program participants, has the right to raise concerns or make a complaint regarding discrimination under this policy without fear of retaliation. Any and all inquiries regarding the application of this statement and related policies may be referred to: Safe Berks, Beth Garrigan, CEO, BethG@SafeBerks.org. Complaints may also be filed with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission or the Department of Justice, Office of Civil Rights.
6/30/2020 – Standing Up Against Hate
We are deeply offended and saddened by the most recent incident of intimidation targeting our community: divisive fliers left at the LGBT Center of Reading on Friday May 29 by Patriot Front, a well-known white supremacist hate group. We stand together to say that cowardly acts of antagonism cannot divide us and will not be tolerated. We are strengthened by our diversity and we welcome all who are committed to building our community. June is PRIDE month, and we want to be clear that all people are welcome here and that we are one of 70 the organizations, religious and secular, that believes love is love and stand firmly against all expressions of hate.
Recently, we have learned of several incidents of hate infecting our community – online and in person. We stand against all such acts, regardless of who is being targeted, and we pledge to call out hate wherever we see it. We also call on the Pennsylvania legislature to strengthen PA’s hate crimes laws so that all Pennsylvanians are protected.
We are continuously reminded that racism, discrimination, and bias persist in dangerous and even lethal ways in this country. Bias unchecked by action festers; silence is complicity. We must be vigilant against hate in whatever form it takes.
We know that often such acts are not isolated incidents. If you have experienced or witnessed an act of hate or bias, we urge you to report it to local law enforcement, the Reading Human Relations Commission, and the Anti-Defamation League. By reporting incidents of hate and bias, we ensure that we can track what is happening and empower ourselves and our neighbors to take action to combat discrimination, racism, oppression and bigotry.
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