We Can Do Better: A Letter From ERS President and CEO, Laura Lamb

We Can Do Better: A Letter From ERS President and CEO, Laura Lamb

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Earlier this summer, I wrote a very personal letter to our residents, families, staff, Board of Directors, and the general public. In this letter, I expressed my heartbreak at the then-recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. These senseless deaths, along with the more recent shooting by police officers in Kenosha, Wisconsin of Jacob Black, left me wondering, “What could we do as an organization to address implicit and explicit bias within our walls and provide opportunities for inclusion and collaboration?”

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At ERS, we are a diverse group of people within our organization. Several years ago, through our staff's great work, we identified the word "inclusion" as a core value of ERS. Our core value of inclusion guides our behavior. Inclusion means valuing collaboration and diversity of thought, experiences, and perspective. It is appreciating that we are better together, leveraging our strengths and differences. There is no room for division, hatred, or racist views in a culture that values inclusion.

It became very apparent to us all that centuries of racial injustice have resulted in cultural and systematic bias against people of color that can be seen across the American society—in our laws, our data sets, our workforce, services, and in health outcomes. In a world that is becoming more divisive over racial and cultural differences, we have determined that we must celebrate our diversity and fundamentally reject all manifestations of racism.

As a result, the Servant Leadership Team, with the support of our Board of Directors, began a series of conversations and educational sessions regarding racial injustice and racism called, We Can Do Better. The series, which started in June and has been held every 2 to 3 weeks, will be ongoing work that we do to become better allies for our brothers and sisters of color. Maya Angelou has said, "Do the best you can with what you know. Then when you know better, you do better." And it is in that spirit that we will learn and engage with one another to create a safe and inclusive space for our staff.

For the We Can Do Better series, ERS has provided a forum for staff members of color and biracial families to share their experiences in society and at work to create empathy and understanding of the injustices society regularly places in front of them. Furthermore, it has provided education for staff members regarding topics such as white privilege, micro-aggressions, implicit bias, and more. Finally, we are looking inward to challenge ourselves to find institutional or implicit biases that may hinder our staff's development and well-being. This is hard work. Our staff has embraced the series of meetings to share their personal stories, build relationships, and empathize with one another and work towards change.

The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly."

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly." 

- Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. 

We must be a part of the change.

  • As a non-profit, rooted in Christian faith…
  • As an employer who is represented by and serves a diverse set of races, religions, sexual orientations, and cultures…
  • As an organization that believes strongly in the idea of inclusion…
  • As a people who see and feel the pain…

We fundamentally seek change for the betterment of all.

Please join me to support our efforts as we seek to make a brighter future in our corner of the world at Episcopal Retirement Services. Please stop by our homepage, www.episcopalretirement.com, to stay connected to our journey.


Laura Lamb
President & CEO

Laura Lamb
October 21, 2020
Laura joined Episcopal Retirement Services in 1994. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Cincinnati and received her Master’s degree in Health Administration from Xavier University. Her thesis on Organizational Design in Healthcare was completed while working as an intern with ERS. Since beginning her ERS career, Laura has held multiple roles in operations and support services, most recently as Executive Vice President. As CEO, Laura provides strategic and organizational leadership to ensure delivery of ERS' mission and successful business results. Laura championed the Person-Centered Care efforts that have led to the cultural transformation of ERS’s communities from an institutional setting to communities with a home-like feel. Laura Lamb was appointed to the LeadingAge Ohio Board of Directors in 2011 and was approved as a CARF surveyor in 2012. In 2013, she and the Council for Lifelong Engagement (CLLE), a program she developed which is dedicated to ending ageism while imparting the wisdom of elders to school children of all ages, were honored by LeadingAge Ohio as a recipient of the Innovation Award and by LeadingAge as the recipient of the Hobart Jackson Cultural Diversity Award. She is also a Fellow of the LeadingAge Leadership Academy. In 2015, Laura graduated from the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber's Leadership Cincinnati Class 38, a highly competitive leadership development program. In 2017, Laura created Dementia Inclusive (DI) Cincinnati, which gathers public, private, and non-profit organizations with a goal to gain acceptance for people living with the disease, and, by 2025, establish Cincinnati as the most dementia-inclusive city in America. The goal of DI Cincinnati is to create welcoming and safe places for those living with cognitive loss and their care partners. In 2019, Laura and ERS were recognized for this innovative work by being named the Leading Age Ohio Recipient of the Aging Impact Award.

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