To our Y Members, Program Participants, Volunteers and Donors:
As a Y Family, we are heartbroken at the needless and tragic deaths of African American men, women and trans identified individuals across our nation. Our hearts are filled with pain, frustration and a fierce desire for change with the loss of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and the many who have preceded them. At the Y, we believe that Black Lives Matter, and extend our sincerest thoughts, prayers and condolences to the families and loved ones of all whose lives have been tragically cut short. We also know that many of our own staff team and those of you in our communities are hurting.
Our nation is battling two insidious viruses at present: COVID-19 and racism. Both are disproportionally affecting communities of color. However, they impact every one of us, regardless of creed, color or background. Both have clearly revealed the pronounced and widening gaps in health, education and employment equity that are oppressing many communities of color.
We can and must come together to be a thread of humanity and love that helps knit together our fraying social fabric through non-violence, compassion and education. Our staff team and Board of Directors believe that compassion and inclusion are the embodiment of our collective strength; and that what unites us will always be stronger than what divides us. Racism, sexism, ableism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia and any other form of hatred, prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination have no place in our Y, or in the communities we serve. Not now, and not ever.
Our impact and relevancy as a multicultural nonprofit organization focused on strengthening community is directly tied to our efforts to fight for greater inclusion and equity for all, especially for our most marginalized communities. This work is rooted in our mission and is the soul of our Y Movement.
Together we invite you to step forward and add your voice to the chorus of Y and community leaders who are denouncing acts of racism, hatred and violence against all communities of color. Insist on a tomorrow that is better than today. One that is more equitable, inclusive, compassionate and just. This is an opportunity for us to reflect on what more we can be doing to ensure that everyone is given the opportunity to reach their full potential and that our communities are welcoming and safe for all.
In Solidarity and Service
President and CEO
Ann Arbor YMCA