Ellenhorn Social Responsibility Statement
March 26, 2021
At Ellenhorn, we believe that staying connected to the world is central to an individual getting better. We recognize that we cannot treat an individual without also considering their world and the complex demands it makes of them.
At Ellenhorn, we also believe that we, as a company, must be connected to the world to ensure that we are always advancing the cause of being better. Right now, our therapeutic community cannot, in good conscience, quietly continue our work without recognizing our world.
We cannot turn a blind eye to the naked expressions of hate and intolerance flooding across this country, or to the law standing behind these forms of white supremacy. In less than one week we have seen two mass murders that have traumatized families and communities.
The murder of eight people in the Atlanta area, seven of whom were women and six of whom were Asian-American women, represents only the most recent rearing of racism and misogyny’s ugly faces in this country. We see the poisonous language of blame and othering that has been directed at our brothers and sisters in the Asian- American and Pacific Islander communities over the past 12 months and we recognize that this language of dehumanization promoted by political leaders and everyday Americans precipitates heinous acts of violence.
This hatred is no novel development. There exists a direct through line between the murders of March 16, 2021, and the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII and, before that, the Page Act of 1875. We see the ways that men have been taught that they hold dominion over women and non-binary individuals, a status clearly reflected in modern pay gaps.
At Ellenhorn, we see these manifestations of hate in our world and we will not be silent.
We are heartbroken at the loss of these eight people, as well as the killing of the 10 people in a mass shooting at a grocery store in Boulder, CO, just days later. The continued scourge of hatred cannot be ignored and we will not be deterred. We will continue to acknowledge our world and advance the work of betterment.
Soon Chung Park
Hyun Jung Grant
Sun Cha Kim
Paul Andre Michels
Yong Ae Yue
September 23, 2020
The Social Responsibility Committee at Ellenhorn is issuing a statement in support of the nationwide calls, including the call from the governor of Kentucky, for the immediate review of all the grand jury evidence in the case against three Louisville police officers in the murder of Breonna Taylor. Breonna Taylor was a 26 year old emergency room technician studying to be a nurse who was shot five times in her apartment and died after police with a search warrant, looking for two men who were suspected of selling drugs, stormed into her apartment. Yesterday, a Kentucky grand jury determined that charges of homicide will not be levied against the three police officers and instead only charge one of the officers with first-degree wanton endangerment for firing ten rounds of bullets which carries a maximum sentence of five years according to Kentucky statute We are enraged that this brazen miscarriage of justice regarding state-sanctioned violence against its own citizens is continually being allowed to be the norm in our country. As mental health clinicians who are grounded in understanding the cultural and institutional root causes of such a travesty of justice, we are compelled to stand in solidarity with Breonna Taylor’s family and many others who have had enough.
June 2, 2020
At the core of our philosophy at Ellenhorn is a strong belief in the social and psychological injuries of dehumanization: the viewing and treating of other human beings as things. Our work has always been about helping the people we serve recover from dehumanizing systems of care and a society that lacks tolerance for difference. It’s really what we’re referring to, when we talk about “psychosocial trauma.”
At the core of this core philosophy is a belief in what Martin Luther King called, “the sacredness of human personality,” and what James Baldwin described as the “disquieting complexity of ourselves.” We thus see any behavior in which a person’s unique humanity is ignored, abused or erased as a sacrilege; an unholy act.
The murder of George Floyd was an act of dehumanization incarnate: 8 minutes and 46 seconds in which an individual’s personhood, and then person, were heinously annihilated. We bemoan this loss, and we lament all the ways in which dehumanizing systems in this country treat all and any of our brothers and sisters who are denied access to power and who are marginalized. From children in cages, the creeping corrosion of worker’s rights, the awful denial of everyday sexual assault of women and the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus on minority neighborhoods to the broad-daylight murder of Ahmaud Arbery, Floyd is tragically part of a nation of individuals whose choices, freedoms and lives have been limited by the insidious processes of dehumanization in our culture.