Allies for Health + Wellbeing defines inclusion as the acknowledgment of, respect for and the empowerment of each employee's knowledge, skills, values and experiences through the services we provide and our interactions with each other.
It is understood that inclusion is aspirational and that all staff will move through processes and activities that require self-reflection, openness to learning, changing individual and systemic bias, and engaging in a communication style that evokes a better understanding of one another.
The ultimate goal is a work environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, feel safe and secure expressing themselves, have equal access to opportunities and resources, and contribute fully to the organization's success.
As an agency founded in opposition to discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS, Allies has always striven to create a place where racial and sexual minorities feel welcome, safe and respected. We stand firmly against injustice in all forms and strongly in support of those working to change institutional racism and discrimination. We hear you, we serve you, and we are your Allies.
On June 24, the Supreme Court issued its ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson, which reverses the 1973 decision on Roe v. Wade. Access to abortion will now be determined on a state-by-state basis. Pennsylvania currently permits abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, and Gov. Tom Wolf has vowed to protect Pennsylvanians’ right to abortion for the length of his term.
As a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide integrated medical care, supportive human services, and community-based education for individuals living with, or at risk of HIV, viral hepatitis, and sexually transmitted infections, this ruling does not directly affect the work of Allies for Health + Wellbeing. However, the decision is likely to impact our consumers and their families and will disproportionately affect communities of color.
HIV, hepatitis C, gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis are preventable and treatable, but only if people have access to regular screenings and are educated in methods of prevention. Any action that results in limiting the number of clinics or organizations that provide affordable and accessible screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections will result in more people with preventable and treatable diseases.
As an agency founded in opposition to discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS, we are deeply concerned by any decision that impedes a person’s access to healthcare. We at Allies strive for a community where quality, integrated medical care and supportive human services are available to all, free of stigma and discrimination. We believe that people are the experts of their own experience, and we are committed to understanding and removing barriers to care and health disparities. We will continue to be a resource for all those who come to us, and we reaffirm our commitment to create a place where everyone is safe and welcome.