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Message from the CEO

Celebrating Juneteenth 2024

Dear Members, Families, and Friends,

Across the country today, June 19, we mark the 159th anniversary of Juneteenth, or Freedom Day, as it is also known. Juneteenth, a combination of the words "June" and "nineteenth," celebrates the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans in the United States. Our offices are closed to demonstrate our commitment to racial justice and to support our core values in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB).

Establishing Juneteenth as a corporate holiday is one of many actions we have taken to promote understanding and foster mutual respect. Our foundational DEIB work is shaping a transformative culture to advocate for greater diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in our workplace and in support of members and families.

On June 13, we held our first DEIB Round Table for external stakeholders. The event provided a forum to listen and gather issues that matter to members and families. These diverse insights and perspectives will help to inform our advocacy strategies for members and families to ensure they represent the diverse perspectives of our members. 

Our advocacy platform is built on a strong foundation of championing disability inclusion and bringing about meaningful change for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD). In our proactive efforts, we are advocating for safe and affordable housing, meaningful employment, education, access to culturally competent holistic health care, and adequate funding in the IDD delivery support system. We are committed to advocating for individuals with IDD so they may participate fully, safely, and free from prejudice in their everyday lives.

Let us gather and celebrate this Juneteenth to reflect on the history and contributions of the Black and Latin American communities. The 2024 national Juneteenth theme, “Their Wildest Dreams,” honors the achievements of freed slaves and their descendants. It is a reminder that our history is important and that while some progress has been made, there is still much work to be done. Click here for details on 2024 Juneteenth events in New York State communities that will provide opportunities for us to learn, celebrate and reflect on the holiday’s historical significance.

Our commitment to members and families is embodied in our values. These values help us demonstrate our priority of helping people with IDD live life to the fullest and on their terms. On Juneteenth, and beyond, let us discover our similarities and find new ways to shine our light and support each other!

In Gratitude & Community,
Kerry Delaney, CEO
Kerry Delaney, CEO