The events of the past two weeks are a painful reminder of the racial inequalities and injustices that continue to haunt our country. For some of us, this is like a recurring nightmare; we wake up to the news of another tragedy and ask “ how does this continue to happen”? For Black Americans, and all other victims of discrimination, this is not just a bad dream. The inequalities and injustices are part of their everyday lives, and personal indignities are a routine occurrence.
The death of George Floyd has turned our nation’s attention to these issues. The widespread protests and public outcry, even the public messages from corporate leaders, are an indication of growing public sentiment that is critical to progress. It has also prompted many of us to look inward, scouring our own attitudes and behaviors. There is an increased awareness in many people of goodwill, and a broader recognition that we have an individual responsibility for the collective attitudes in our society. Just as the police officers in Minneapolis who stood by should have intervened, we should be resolved to speak up when observing even unintentionally racist remarks or attitudes.
Action is also required. At the Boys & Girls Clubs of Great Tarrant County, we are taking action every day and will increase our efforts. Here are a few steps the organization is taking to amplify youth voices.
We Listen: We are hosting teen forums so that the voices of our members are heard. We will work with existing and new partners to widen the circle of dialogue so that our steps are rooted in collective change.
We Support: We are building our platform for the youth agenda locally, regionally and nationally. We will ensure youth have direct lines to community decision makers and the support needed to amplify their voice.
We Act: We will take action to affect positive change so that all young people reach their full potential.
As a board, we remain committed to expanding the diversity of our board composition further. Additionally we will ensure that all members of the board complete implicit bias training to ensure our practices grow ever more inclusive. Thank you for enthusiastically joining me in fulfilling these commitments.
Thank you for everything you are doing for this wonderful organization, and know that we are making a difference in the lives of thousands of kids and families, and making our community stronger.
Board Chair, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Tarrant County
Demand for Club Services Increase Across Tarrant County