Richard Ruddy, chief of staff for Cincinnati Children’s Liberty campus, said the prayers and symbolic kneeling were good ways to honor the Juneteenth holiday’s historical importance while also commemorating the death of Floyd.
“Our country has been in years of racism … toward African Americans – but most recently with the increase in deaths at the hands of law enforcement,” said Ruddy.
“All men are created equal … as a hospital we believe that’s our mission to treat with everyone with respect,” he said.
Katrina Farmer, vice president of employee experience at Cincinnati Children’s, said the event was “a moment to pause and acknowledge the importance of Juneteenth in the African American community.”
“We felt it was critical important to do so. To not only take a knee – to acknowledge unfortunately the racism, the injustice and the inequities in healthcare that exists – but then to stand and come together,” said Farmer.
“Our foundational responsibility as Cincinnati Children’s is safety and that includes psychological safety … and today was about honoring who we are as an institution and coming together to pause… take the knee and then stand so we can move forward together so we can do right for each other and the kids we serve each and every day.”
Photographer Nick Graham contributed to this story