COSA Racial Solidarity Statement

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Council of Social Agencies of Hampshire County (COSA)
Racial Solidarity Statement 
August 27, 2020

The Council of Social Agencies of Hampshire County (COSA) stands against racism and white supremacy and the entrenched systems that support them. We abhor our country’s caste system. We denounce racial profiling and violence against our Black, Brown, and Indigenous friends, colleagues, and neighbors. We support everybody who unites to fight such injustice, and we stand firmly in solidarity with Black, Brown, and Indigenous people. We owe a great debt to the Black Lives Matter Movement and all those who have carried the torch of truth and racial justice for far too long by themselves. They are the reason we now finally find our country in a large-scale reckoning with the realities of racism; an awareness with the potential to change the world.

We understand that the full potential of this watershed moment can only be realized through great commitment. White supremacy has ruled for centuries. Its injustice has been ignored, willfully silenced, and backed by ruthless state sanctioned violence. Reversing this travesty of history will require time, resources, and strength — a braveness of heart led by love, not hate, and grounded in truth, not abusive justifications and subjugation. It requires that all of us, especially those of us who hold white privilege and power, to assume responsibility and take action.

Social services agencies, including the COSA network, have been complicit in systemic racism, despite the fact that we champion against its consequences. That is why we commit ourselves to racial justice with eyes open and a dedication to staying aware while becoming more accountable. Specifically, we pledge to the following in our quest to become an anti-racist organization:
– Bear witness: To our Black, Brown, and Indigenous colleagues and partners, we promise to see your humanity and not flinch from your lived experiences.
– Address our own bias: We will commit the time and resources to raise our awareness about racism and how it manifests in ourselves, our organizations, and our community.
– Foster community awareness and action: We will commit time and resources to helping our partner social agencies in their quest to become anti-racist organizations.
– Build a network and leadership that is inclusive and representative: Ensure that COSA is an organization where Black, Brown and Indigenous people who are employees, partners, and clients feel safe, included, and valued, and are lifted in leadership in the spirit of equity.

Anti-racist work is challenging and necessary. Engaging in an on-going commitment towards racial justice is nothing less than fulfilling the promise and debt we inherently hold to one another. Community and country are better for it –and so are we all.

Sign up for November training with Human In Common

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Have you registered for our November event yet?
Human In Common
Interrupting Racism Level I Training
Two-Part Training
Part 1: Tuesday, November 17 9am-12pm
Part 2: Thursday, November 19 9am-12pm

Human In Common presents its two-part Interrupting Racism Level I training, an interactive training that lays the foundation for a common understanding of the breadth and depth of racism, its impact on individuals and all aspects of society and provides skills to engage respectfully while talking about race, ethnicity, and racism.
Interrupting Racism Levels II and III will be offered at future dates from January to April 2021. Details will be shared in the COSA newsletters.

Agencies can each register TWO attendees for this two-part training.
Register soon – attendance is limited.

This training is being presented free of charge by COSA with generous support from United Way of Hampshire County.

Register online HERE. 

Sign up for COSA’s newsletter

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COSA publishes a regular e-newsletter with information about trainings, job options, nonprofit news, and local events. Sign up by clicking on the link below. 

Sign up for COSA’s e-newsletter HERE

COSA does not sell or share our mailing list.

COSA membership for 2020-2021

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This year, it’s easier than ever to become a member or to renew your COSA membership with an online form. Click on the link below to get started. 

Need an invoice to process your payment? Check YES on the invoice question and COSA will email you an invoice for your accounts payable processing. 

COSA FY21 Membership Form

Thank you for supporting COSA and creating networking, capacity-building, and training opportunities for nonprofits serving clients throughout Hampshire County!