A Message From BFL’s Founder Paul Feuerstein
A message from Barrier Free Living CEO/Founder Paul Feuerstein
For the past few months, we have focused so much time and attention on the COVID pandemic. In the process, we have ignored other pandemics. The executive director of UN Women has identified domestic violence as the shadow pandemic. Victims forced to shelter in place with their abusers. The other shadow pandemic that is presently writ large in our country is Racism. All of these pandemics are interconnected.
Black lives matter, and we join others across the nation to mourn the loss of so many of our sisters and brothers: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the thousands of black and brown lives disproportionately lost to COVID-19.
Barrier Free Living is working to establish a world reflecting the fact that they do matter. The heart of racism is privilege. Privilege is invisible to people that have it and painfully obvious to people who don’t. We have been doing a deep dive into our policies and practices to discern where privilege has crept into the way we do business. We believe in fair and equal access to opportunity and justice for all. Unfortunately, this is still an aspiration and not yet reality because of the enduring legacy of racism that is pervasive in our society. Racism is inextricably tied to the structure, institutions, and systems we encounter every day.
We cannot effectively address the needs of the people we serve and the community without combating the oppressive systems that keep the status quo in place. Barrier Free Living is a values driven organization. The majority of our leadership team, our staff and the people we serve are people of color. It is our commitment to partner with our staff, our colleagues, and the people we serve to take deliberate action to disrupt and dismantle racism in our work, in our field, and beyond.