Although the Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863, change was not instant. It took nearly two and a half years for freedom to reach the enslaved African Americans of Galveston, Texas, who received the news by way of Union army troops led by General Gordan Granger. President Joe Biden’s 2021 legislation recognizing Juneteenth as a federal holiday can be considered progress. Still, the movement toward eradicating systemic racism and injustice is an ongoing battle. In this fight, Integrity stands with all Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) within our family and beyond.
It’s no secret that members of the Black community face immeasurable disparity when it comes to healthcare, including mental health stigma, mistrust in the healthcare system, and general bias stemming from historical, structural, and systemic racism and discrimination. As a continuing effort to help dismantle systemic barriers, Integrity House provides unconscious bias training for all newly hired staff regardless of position and addresses bias in clinical supervision. We celebrate the cultures of all staff and clients. As a conscious and deliberate effort, we look for BIPOC-owned businesses for all business needs when exploring vendors. Most importantly, we create opportunities for representation in our workforce and leadership.
We recognize Juneteenth as an opportunity to celebrate the Black community, their resilience, strength, and determination! On Juneteenth, we reflect on history and look forward to progress. Integrity House remains dedicated to addressing discrimination, contributing towards a more just, equitable society.
Robert J. Budsock
Integrity House President and Chief Executive Officer