Addressing Systemic Racism
In response to the killing of George Floyd and other black individuals in recent weeks and the impact of systemic racism on our society, NDSC released a statement that condemns systemic racism and recognizes that as an organization, we need to do more.  The statement was followed by a video from Executive Director, David Tolleson pledging NDSC’s support of the Black community, stating our commitment to stand by all who are calling for an end to systemic racism in our society, our re-commitment to serve all families that need us, and for our leadership to reflect our community.

On June 15, 2020, NDSC held a town hall meeting, which brought together a panel of NDSC leaders, law enforcement, and community members to have an open discussion on race relations and systemic racism. The recording of the Town Hall Meeting can be viewed on the NDSC YouTube channel. In order to create a change, we must keep talking. We hope that you will mark your calendars and join us on Thursday, July 16, as we Continue The Conversation. To register to Continue The Conversation, please visit our website. You can also listen to a podcast on race and healthcare for people with Down syndrome, which was led by NDSC President Kishore Vellody and NDSC Board Members Valerie Williams and Shauntel Neal-Howe.

Our policy work has long been focused on addressing systemic racism, and the increased impact racism has on individuals who also have disabilities. NDSC has worked on this issue as part of the Consortium for Citizen with Disabilities (CCD) for decades and has also been a member of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCHR) for more than five years. NDSC recently joined over 400 civil rights organizations in signing an LCCHR letter to Congress on police reform. NDSC also recently signed the LCCHR Civil Rights Principles on Safe, Healthy and Inclusive School Climate and the LCCHR Civil Rights Principles for Higher Education (NDSC will be added to the documents as they are updated). However, the policy team recognizes there is so much more we need to do in the future.