A Message From the CEO

In the wake of the recognition of COVID-19’s disproportionately deadly impact on African-Americans, the national, anguished response to the brutal murder of George Floyd, and its searing indictment of racism in this country, the United States has been grappling with its racial past, its racial present, and a yearning for a truly equitable racial future.  Conversations are happening at every level of society as Americans examine their practices and cultural norms, as well as their own personal sense of responsibility with regard to these issues.  At Healthy Humor, it has been a time for us to analyze and re-affirm our own commitment to equality.  
Marking our four-year anniversary in this moment has allowed us to reflect on how we are succeeding – or not – in living out our stated values, the first of which is: We are driven to serve those in our world who are hurting.  We have made progress in several areas.  Cognizant of the fact that we operate in a healthcare industry that does not provide access to care equally for all those who are hurting, we allocate 50% of our budget to partnerships with under-resourced hospitals that suffer from systemic inequality as they serve populations that are overwhelmingly black and brown.  Our principles are reinforced with each Red Nose Doc to ensure that every child who interacts with HH is welcomed, cared for, and loved, regardless of background, race or creed.  And they are reflected in the composition of our executive staff and board, 40% of which is African-American. 
Our efforts toward equality are imperfect, however.  While these values drive our hiring, training and leadership development practices, we are still not where we want to be as an organization in this regard.  We are committed to building the most representative workforce in the healthcare clowning field and will redouble our efforts to do so.   We will infuse our existing professional development regimen with a more intentional focus on diversity and inclusion.  And we will continue to strengthen our organizational responsiveness to issues of equity.    
On a personal note, as a black woman, I have found these past few months to be particularly wrenching – living in a society that is wrestling so publicly with issues that many of us quietly, daily, navigate.  One source of comfort has been knowing that I am part of an effort that has continued putting good out into the world, pushing through even as trauma rattled so many of us.  I believe deeply, passionately, in the mission of this organization and its ability to be a balm in the midst of suffering.  Humor is healing.  Joy is transformative.  When too many of us are still being judged by the color of our skin, laughter connects us to each other’s humanity in a way that few other things can.  At a time of intense personal and public grief, I am immensely grateful to lead an organization that is Using Laughter for Good.