We are facing some very difficult times as Americans and as a people. We’re enduring a global pandemic and the subsequent economic impacts across our country. And now, we are forced to reckon with the death of an unarmed black man while in police custody... again.
We witnessed and continue to witness the disproportionate impact on black and brown communities, as well as a rise in hate crimes against Asians and Asian-American communities, with the onset of COVID-19. George Floyd’s death, along with the recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, has once again brought to the forefront the racism and violence that so many in our community experience every single day. People in communities around the country, including here in Central New York, have risen up to protest, reflecting the pain, anger, and frustration that so many of US are feeling.
As stewards of the Y’s mission, we know that we are “FOR ALL.” That means we work to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential with dignity. The YMCA of Central New York stands with others in denouncing prejudice, racism, intolerance, and all other forms of discrimination. We believe that Black Lives Matter. We acknowledge that racism and oppression are baked into the very fabric of our societal systems and culture. We will be part of the solution.
We know that taking a stand is not enough. Our organization is traveling on a journey to build the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion into ALL our operations, as well as model those principles as we advance our mission. We believe that embracing equity, diversity, and inclusion as an organization is a path to intentionally create space for positive outcomes to flourish.
Facing the reality and historical impact of marginalization and discrimination of others is no simple task. This work requires a commitment from all of us and, at times, can seem like an insurmountable goal. But we will persevere and will not shy away from having courageous conversations with our communities that lead to tangible actions and change in our communities. This is how progress will be made.
Thank you for being an integral part of our Y and for working together every day to ensure we are strengthening our communities FOR ALL.
President and CEO
YMCA of Central New York