One of The Shepherd’s Center of Richmond’s guiding principles is that “we seek to be welcoming, inclusive, and diverse.” The demonstrations over the past weeks have stressed the importance of this principle. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that “All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem.” We must be determined to face each of life’s problems and find solutions that honor all people.
The tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many more have triggered anger, hurt, fear, confusion and despair throughout the world. At The Shepherd’s Center of Richmond our hearts and prayers go out to the black community, our black TSCOR families and the families of those who have been directly affected by the senseless acts of violence we have witnessed on our TV screens. When one hurts, we all hurt. That statement is no truer than at this moment.
As an organization we stand committed to embracing all people in our community. Our priority is to provide a service to the generation that has laid the foundation for future generations. It is because of the wisdom, care, and guidance of our senior population that we find ourselves dedicated to creating programs that give them independence and love during their later years.
TSCOR is focused on creating diversity within our organization. In 2018, a Diversity Committee was formed. The committee’s goal is to attract and include a more diverse membership and offer services to neighborhoods that we have not impacted in the past. The committee started its initiative last year by meeting with several churches and black leaders to strategize how TSCOR can align itself with urban neighborhoods. And we plan to continue this effort.
In 2019, the Board of Directors unanimously elected TSCOR’s first black board member, Stephanie Churchill. Just recently, she was elected to serve as Vice President (and thus as President-elect) beginning July 1, 2020. We believe that Stephanie will bring unique, forward-thinking ideas that can be used to help grow and expand TSCOR.
Our pledge to our community is to do all we can to represent diversity and inclusion in fulfilling our mission to encourage older adults to remain active and independent through enrichment programs and volunteer service to their peers.