RMHS Answers Dr. King's Call: Taking Steps Towards Increased Equity and Justice in Colorado
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spent his life advocating and fighting to increase equality for the oppressed. RMHS strives to do the same in Colorado for people experiencing various hardships.
As people across the country took Monday to remember and honor the remarkable life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., including the countless struggles and obstacles he and thousands of other civil rights activists faced in fighting injustice to secure more civil rights for Black Americans, RMHS thinks back on how our organization strives to live his legacy. We also take time to dwell on the immense work left to do in creating a Colorado in which all have adequate access to the supports they need to thrive.
Dr. King penned his now famous Letter from Birmingham Jail during his 1963 imprisonment following his participation in demonstrations against segregation. His open letter was a response to a letter he received from eight clergy who requested moderation in his civil rights actions. The letter from the clergy stated: “We recognize the natural impatience of people who feel that their hopes are slow in being realized. But we are convinced that these demonstrations are unwise and untimely.”
In response, Dr. King pointed out that many have a misconception that time itself will ultimately right wrongs, but the reality is that only committed human dedication to addressing injustices can adequately correct them. He wrote:
“…Time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively.”
RMHS whole-heartedly agrees and strives each day to support Coloradans in attaining a better life right now, since waiting for another time is unacceptable.
RMHS strives to do right by Coloradans by providing supports to people with various needs so that they can thrive in the communities of their choice. RMHS recognizes that:
a delay in providing these supports could mean young children not getting connected to vital therapies that allow them to meet developmental milestones.
a delay in providing supports could mean veterans sleeping on the streets without adequate shelter or healthcare.
a delay in providing supports could mean people experiencing homelessness not receiving assistance in navigating the disability support system and therefore being denied lifesaving healthcare, food, or shelter.
a delay in providing supports could mean allowing someone recovering from substance abuse to transition back into society without connecting them to ongoing supports that increase the likelihood of maintaining sobriety in the long term.
RMHS resolves that the time to simplify access, celebrate individuality, and bridge communities is now.
In his letter, Dr. King continued:
“Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity.”
RMHS also acutely understands how issues of homelessness, inadequate access to healthcare, and lack of supports for people with disabilities disproportionately affect people of color, including Black Americans, at a higher rate than white Americans. Therefore, it steadfastly resolves to providing supports to people of all backgrounds to mitigate racial injustice and fight against systemic racism. In July 2020, the RMHS Board of Directors unanimously passed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Resolution and continues the learning and unlearning processes necessary in our ongoing work toward becoming an anti-racist organization.
RMHS knows that Dr. King’s vision is yet unrealized and dedicates itself to the continuation of bringing Coloradans one step closer to a society where everyone can thrive, no matter their skin color, their disability status, their age, their income level, or any other marker that might otherwise divide.
“Justice too long delayed is justice denied.”
In that same letter, Dr. King wrote both his now famous: “A threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” and the lesser known, but equally crucial in making progress towards an equitable society: “Justice too long delayed is justice denied.”
RMHS recognizes the power of hiring and promoting people of different backgrounds in creating a staff of hardworking individuals with varying and diverse perspectives. The more diverse perspectives that a staff have, the stronger the organization. RMHS commits itself to hiring practices that elevate the many skills, talents, and perspectives of people of color. If you know someone interested in working for RMHS to support in making a more just and equitable Colorado, please visit our hiring page.
RMHS also resolutely commits itself to supporting in the creation of a more just and equitable Colorado by working now and tomorrow to bring supports to Coloradans otherwise denied equal access to crucial needs. It also means that in honoring Dr. King, RMHS considers what still needs to improve and how we can bring more supports to more people today. If you or someone you know may benefit from a program at RMHS, please visit our website to learn more about how we serve Coloradans.
Rocky Mountain Human Services is a nonprofit organization founded in 1992 that connects people with the resources they need to build the lives they choose in their communities. We assist individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and veterans who are homeless or at risk of experiencing homelessness. To find out how you can help, please visit RMHS | Denver | Human Services (rmhumanservices.org).