By Bette Martin
Member, Diversity and Inclusion Committee
A few weeks after I arrived at Riderwood, I was carrying a heavy package to my apartment. I sat down in the connector next to a housekeeper taking a break. We chatted awhile before I asked her where the room with the shopping carts was. “No, no” she said. “Let me get one for you.” Before I could protest, she did.
Since then, I have been impressed again and again with how well our staff at every level take care of us. It is surprising and distressing to me when I see residents criticizing staff loudly in public, chewing someone out for problems they often neither created nor can fix. I generally wait the resident is finished complaining before I approach the staff member and console them.
Most of us don’t know what to say or do while an incident is unfolding. It is difficult to address a person who is angry. We can, however, stand with the person receiving that anger. That is what led to planning “Stand up- Stand with – Stand together,” an opportunity to learn to support others sponsored by the CommUNITY Living Committee, the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the Resident Advisory Council and the Administration.
On Thursday, November 15 at 11:00 a.m. in Maryland Hall, Marlene Sallo, Executive Director of the Disability Law Center of the Massachusetts Protection and Advocacy Agency will give our keynote speech. Ms. Sallo served in the Obama Administration as the Director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and as Chief of Staff with the U.S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Service.
“Stand up- Stand with – Stand together” is designed to give us the tools and information we need to make Riderwood an even more inclusive community.