Black Lives Matter
Dear Club Members, Families and Friends,
My heart is heavy. The recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others have shocked and outraged people around the world. Theirs are only three names of hundreds of thousands. They are the names and faces of systemic racism which has enabled discrimination and the violation of human rights.
As the leader of a youth development organization as well as a mother, I must be willing to do the hard work to put an end to brutality, to racism, to inequalities, which continue to plague our communities day in and day out. I don’t have the answers for how we are going to heal the deep divides we have in America but, as a leader, one of the wisest things I can do first is listen. I’m going to listen to my team. I am going to listen to our Club members. I am going to listen to our communities. I will commit to making this world better not only for my own children but for the children who come to our Clubs every day. Clubs where we have been entrusted to inspire and enable them. To help teach and guide them to be responsible, caring, and productive citizens. As a leader, I must hold myself and those around me accountable. We must be part of the change.
I support and reiterate what Boys & Girls Clubs across America are sharing. The future of our nation rests in the hands of our young kids and teens – young people who are watching the news and their social media feeds, overhearing their parents’ conversations, worrying for their world, and coming to Clubs with concern, anxiety, and anger. With racist acts and national civil unrest combining with a global pandemic, our Club members – especially black children and teens – need us. Boys & Girls Clubs of Annapolis & Anne Arundel County will give our young people a voice. We will support them, we will be there to offer guidance, we will provide spaces for inclusive conversations and we will enable them to create Great Futures. Great Futures for themselves and for those around them.
As a Boys & Girls Club organization, we take a stand for the future of America’s children. We stand against racism and discrimination. We stand for safety, health, dignity, and equitable opportunity. Boys & Girls Clubs have always been at the forefront of change, and we are long overdue for change in this country. As a nation, we can and must demand change to ensure these basic rights for black people and anyone who faces systemic prejudices. It has to stop and we must do more to ensure it does.
Our Club members – especially young people of color – need to be heard. They need to hear that we will fight to ensure the great futures they deserve. They need to know that we, as an organization support them and that we will do everything we can to combat systemic racism and ethical and racial injustice. Our young people deserve to be safe – not just at the Club but everywhere. This will take a tremendous amount of work at individual, organizational, and societal levels but I, as well as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Annapolis & Anne Arundel County, are committed to making it happen.
We need each other.
Please know I am only a phone call or email away. Please feel free to contact me.
With my deepest respect,
CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Annapolis & Anne Arundel County