Diverse group of staff at a conference

Below is a letter from our CEO, Lou Giramma. A similar communication was sent to the entire IPPI community.

The work The Institute of Professional Practice, Inc. started nearly 40 years ago was rooted in the need for a seismic shift in the way the world engaged with citizens living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The shift required new principles, new ways of thinking, new methods of care, new innovations in purpose and practice—in short, it required a paradigm shift in disability culture. The founding professionals of IPPI rose to meet that challenge.

Today, in communities across the globe, people are taking to the streets, mourning the senseless loss of black men and women at the hands of the police. The world is calling for another seismic shift—the end of years of oppression and systemic racism. IPPI denounces police brutality, acknowledges systemic racism, and is committed to being anti-racist. Racism and senseless violence against people of color cannot be tolerated. We believe we must aspire to create a world where we all belong; where we are all valued for our intrinsic strengths, and where we embrace difference as being valuable and not the object of fear.

Just like 40 years ago, I am asking IPPI professionals to come together to create a more just and equitable community. Our community is diverse, and diverse representation at all levels of organization have not yet been achieved. There is much work to do. We must start somewhere.

In the coming months, IPPI will embark on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work. We will start by making space for a conversation, with the help of an expert. My hope is that the conversation will be a starting point to:

  • Listen to the concerns and ideas of everyone in our community
  • Learn from the work that is being done to change systems of inequity
  • Lead transformational change in ourselves and our agency

I will send out an invitation to this conversation in the coming weeks. All are invited and encouraged to attend. We will make necessary accommodations, if necessary, to ensure your participation.

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” There are people in our community who are suffering injustice. We see you, we hear you, we stand with you. It’s time now for us to reach out, listen, learn, and take action.

I am grateful to each and every one of you for your tireless work caring for yourselves, your families, each other and the people we support. Let us continue to take care of one another and embark on this work together.