Morning Dennis,

Wanted to check in with you following yesterday’s EQRO meeting. I get the sense that you’re often caught between your role and responsibility to DMH and your genuine care and concern for humanity.  It would seem that DMH would be in alignment with both however, from my vantage point this may not be the case.

Following yesterday’s insightful EQRO meeting, I’m really looking forward to the release of the AAA capacity building project to better understand the thoughts and attitude among Black men in how they perceive trauma in relation to mental health. I have serious concern the current attitude and belief among Black people is not considered in the distribution of resources or delivery of services. And, that is withstanding your recent engagement with UREPs to discuss the equal distribution of nominal dollars to advance the Promotores model. Research suggest cultural destruction, when administrators reinforce a one size fits all model is best for all ethnic populations.

Therefore cultural competency is absent in terms of engagement with the AA community. This decision essentially demonstrates the clear bias in favoring one ethnic population over another, particularly with Black people being historically disenfranchised, should never be out of the focus of attention.  DMH’s decisions demonstrate an attempt to prioritize their work processes over the health of the community designated to serve. The notion that AA was not even mentioned in the 3yr program expenditure plan confirms such bias. The fact that ICI program engaging Black boys was defunded with no follow up, justification or question adds insult to injury.

Cultural competency takes into consideration the thoughts, beliefs and attitude of specific ethnic populations. The fact that AA are accessing services outside their community is due to the shame of being associated with mental health. Black people must be engaged using non-traditional means.  The fact that the Latino UREP is preparing for a mental health awareness media campaign to promote DMH’s latest Health Neighborhood Innovation to their community before projects are approved by MHOAC demonstrates favoritism, particularly when the AAA project is barely assessing Black men attitude.  I’m hopeful you see the disparity between these processes.

Individuals that may consider my comments an attack against the Latino community, reinforce bias and the racist and discriminatory views typical among those that claim they are not. When one champion’s for their community not to be left behind and others have a problem with such, either they are clearly biased or a prior plan is being disrupted. Which would mean transparency has evaded the process.

Therefore, it is becoming increasing difficult for me to represent as DMH CCC co-chair with such blatant bias and in action. My integrity is now being placed in jeopardy and I’m uncertain as to how long as I may continue as co-chair.  What you may not realize is other people see what’s not happening.  I’m hopeful this Black men’s capacity building project is released near immediately and that DMH does everything in its power to reinforce, fund and build upon the recommendation and/or strategies that result from the project expeditiously following receipt of the project report.  Appreciate your time, leadership and understanding the significance of this concern.

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