A message from Karen Hirstwood, Executive Director of Catulpa Community Support Services
I am very proud to introduce Catulpa’s involvement in the 2021 Simcoe County #ITStarts campaign. As a service agency supporting individuals with exceptional needs in Simcoe County and beyond, we at Catulpa understand the need to acknowledge and advocate for the rights of marginalized individuals.
For many of us, the past year has been one of growing self-reflection and social awareness of the overt, and sometimes, not-so-overt racism present within our communities. Catulpa has long been guided by our vision for the future, one that “…encompasses a community where the people we serve are recognized and valued as contributing members of their community and are fully integrated into the activities of their community…” This statement defines who we are as an organization. It challenges us to fight against discrimination and racism. It pushes us to explore how we can do better every day. It is the impetus that drives our desire to overcome the inequity and inequality faced by many in our community face on a daily basis.
Catulpa Community Support Services, including our board of directors, our senior leadership and management teams and our staff members are taking proactive steps to learn more about how we can do better. Not only within the workplace, but also within each one of us. The #ITStarts Campaign is one of the ways we are doing this. We are proud to join together with Simcoe County and local agencies to shine a spotlight on racism prevention in our region.
Over the next week and months, we will be sharing stories and information about diversity, equity, and inclusion. We encourage you to join us on this journey of learning. If you wish to learn more about #ITStarts, I ask you to visit https://www.simcoe.ca/dpt/ccs/lip/itstarts and share the campaign on your own social media platforms. I encourage you to have conversations with co-workers, family and friends. By doing so, we can all work towards a better community.
Executive Director, Catulpa Community Support Services