We are angered and heartbroken by the devastating brutality, racism, and injustice facing our nation in the wake of continued senseless violence against Black people.
These incidents are not new and are not isolated.
People of color are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and have long endured systemic oppression created and sustained by white people.
As white leaders, we condemn these abuses of power and know that we must do more to reckon with this history and take action both individually and collectively in order to end it.
The inter-connectedness of recent murders is especially traumatic for our young people in foster care, most of whom are Black and Latinx, many of whom have suffered racist targeting in their own lives.
Our motto is “we thrive when we matter.” It is no wonder that our young people of color are watching what is happening in the world and wondering just how much our country believes they matter.
Young people in foster care face significant access barriers that are the result of deep systematic injustice – including rising homelessness, food insecurity, inadequate health and mental health care, disparate educational opportunities, unemployment, and criminalization.
It will require sustained and long-term action to dismantle systems of oppression and ensure that all young people are safe and supported. We are an anti-racist organization. Just as our mentors are, we are committed to showing up and standing in solidarity with our young people.
We are dedicated to stepping up to challenge ourselves and our white peers and stepping back in order to listen deeply and amplify Black voices. We seek to take action against injustice in all of its forms.
We invite you to educate yourself, especially if you are white, and welcome ideas on how we can come together as a multiracial community – to speak out against violence, racism, and oppression and also create spaces that can facilitate connection, community, learning, and peace.
As one of our young people recently reminded us, “Now more than ever we need to stay connected and united.”
In the midst of the current storm, we will continue the march toward justice together with purpose and stamina, in the service of building a better future for our young people, our communities, and our country.
Because silence is not an option. Our youth are watching.