In the wake of the killing of George Floyd and so many other African Americans at the hand of police, the demand for justice and an end to institutional racism has arisen across the US. And now it is moving across the world to London, Copenhagen, Berlin, Paris, Toronto, and Vancouver. Young people are risking their lives to demand institutional change and the undoing of the structural racism that our societies have refused to acknowledge and address. Our hearts go out to all of the youth and adults in our organization, our network, and communities across the world who have been—and continue to be—heavily impacted by the grinding effects of institutional racism.
Our work at PYE is founded on the belief that all people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and deserve access to the opportunities and resources they need to fulfill their potential. Our children need us more than ever to rise to the challenge of creating equitable communities, schools, and youth programs that allow them to flourish.
We particularly call upon our white colleagues to join us in upping our commitment to justice. Undoing institutional racism requires a full effort of education, action, and support. Education—to understand our part in unconsciously perpetuating racism and learning how to become a force for change as individuals and communities. Taking action to work for change. And support to lift up communities that are chronically overlooked and impoverished through lack of resources.
We share with you here the insightful perspective of Trevor Noah, host of the Daily Show plus resources compiled by the Youth Development Executives of King County, Washington (YDEKC), the Greater Good Science Center, and the Dismantle Collective.
May this time of pain and turmoil turn us toward a better tomorrow.