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Abbott House Engages Staff in Confronting Systemic Racism


Human Service Agency establishes a series of meetings titled Courageous Conversations


IRVINGTON, NY– October 28, 2020 – Abbott House, the New York-based nonprofit serving children, families, and the developmentally disabled, is committed to hosting a series of agency-wide meetings titled Courageous Conversations. The meetings are a way for staff to share their feelings about race and inequality with a goal of exposing and changing the systemic and structural racism they confront every day.

Abbott House’s very first Courageous Conversations meeting was a moving experience for staff members who participated. In recent weeks, the upper management team agreed that Courageous Conversations should continue and expand on all levels of the agency.

To accomplish this, Abbott House has engaged with an outside facilitator tasked with helping them to ensure that all who choose to participate feel that discussions about race and inequality are held in a safe emotional space designed to foster supportive, healthy conversation.

“Many of the individuals impacted by the effects of racial inequality make up the very communities that Abbott House was founded to serve –and include our own essential workers, who serve quietly and courageously on the front lines of caregiving,” said James L. Kaufman, President and CEO. “As we at Abbott House continue to have Courageous Conversations, I believe the agency will get stronger, staff will advocate more effectively, and support for our clients will improve, as will our own relationships,” said Kaufman.