Youth In Need’s mission is to help children, youth and families build their own futures. To do that, we recognize that the systemic racism—that runs through the entire fabric of our society—must be dismantled.
George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery are only the most recent examples of human life lost because of systemic racism. Their hopes, their dreams, their families and their futures all mattered, and all were ended tragically and senselessly. And we know that across centuries, there have been countless others.
We also know that right now we have nothing close to racial equity in our country or in our region. The devastating health outcomes during the pandemic that have disproportionately impacted the African-American community only underlines that reality. Race should never be a predictor of anyone’s future, and yet disparities permeate the systems in which we function—in healthcare, employment, housing, criminal justice, education and transportation. The negative impact is profound on our society generally and very specifically on many of our clients and staff.
Racism is a pandemic that has been with us since the founding of our country and before. And like the coronavirus, ignoring or denying it doesn't make it less real or less dangerous. But there is a vaccine, and that is antiracism. As Ibram X. Kendi says, "There is no neutrality in the racism struggle…One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an antiracist." Youth In Need is committed to antiracism.
We will be clear and loud in this commitment, realizing that we have not always been.
We will continue to do our own internal work to become a better antiracist institution.
We will use a racial equity lens to help improve how we help the people we serve.
We will be a part of the region’s solutions to end racial disparities, particularly for our youth.