A MESSAGE FROM THE CEO
Everyone is welcome.
This simple statement is the backbone behind the work we do at the YMCA. And, while it’s easy to say – we recognize that being here for ALL people is a challenging standard to achieve. Today, communities across our country are falling woefully short. Beyond feeling welcome, many Black people do not feel safe. They don’t feel safe while they’re out for a run, they don’t feel safe at the park, and they don’t feel safe in their own home.
We must do better.
The Black community faces over 400 years of systemic and institutionalized racism. Racism of this kind can no longer be ignored. We as an organization and community need to understand that to be silent about violence and injustice to the lives and wellbeing of Black people is to be complicit in the violence and injustice this country was built on.
Despite the current pandemic, thousands of people across the nation are demanding justice for George Floyd, who is the latest in a long list of Black people murdered and stolen from their future. Some of those names we know – Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown – most we don’t.
To our Black siblings, friends, colleagues, and neighbors…We see you, we care about you, and we are here for you.
We must do more.
Discussions of race, racism, social justice, equity and inclusion can be intimidating, challenging and imperfect. Harder still is changing long-standing practices, beliefs and policies that perpetuate the structure of racism.
For stronger more humane communities we must face this challenge and engage with our hearts, our minds, and our actions. Without focused attention, our communities and children will suffer.
It’s up to us.
As an institution founded to strengthen communities – our YMCA is committed to redoubling our efforts to confront institutional racism and increase our efforts for social justice. Our Y will listen more, learn more, speak out more to help our community heal, and confront the injustices of institutional racism. Together we will work diligently to create a greater space that represents and welcomes everyone.