Statement Against Anti-Asian Hate and Violence
From the Desk of Thomas R. Harrington, Executive Director & President, Valley Youth House:
At Valley Youth House, we are saddened, angered, and disheartened by the hate targeting people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent nationally since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the recent hate crime against the Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities in the Atlanta area. The victims Delaina Ashley Yaun, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Paul Andre Michels, Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz, Hyun Jung Grant, and 2 others that remain unnamed weigh heavily on our hearts.
Valley Youth House proudly stands in solidarity with the Asian American & Pacific Islander communities against the growing issue of anti-Asian hate, violence, xenophobia, and discrimination in our nation.
Hatred of any kind has no place at Valley Youth House, and we will continue our commitment to using our voice and platform to fight against white supremacy, racism and injustice in our communities. In addition, we will continue to create an environment of inclusivity for our staff, youth and families. As an agency, we have been actively taking the following steps to bring about equality, inclusivity, civility and justice for all:
Listen with our Hearts — Valley Youth House continues to provide opportunities for youth, families and staff to openly discuss how the issues of racism and discrimination have impacted them personally. By providing safe spaces for people to share, we will continue to build understanding and compassion for each other as a foundation for our continued work.
Plan with our Heads — Valley Youth House staff will continue working with youth and community leaders to develop an annual strategy to address issues of diversity, equity and inclusion both within our agency as well as in our local communities. We will continue to share these plans publicly and hold ourselves accountable to improve the climate and reality within our agency and our respective communities.
Speak Up with our Voices — We are committed to making Valley Youth House an anti-racist organization. This means we will continue to actively speak out and address acts of racism, racist comments, and racist practices, policies and procedures. We know that racism and injustice disproportionately impacts many of the youth we serve, and we will advocate for them with our public officials and the general public.
At Valley Youth House, we envision a world in which every young person belongs to a nurturing community. We encourage everyone in our community to join us in this effort. Please visit our website for more information on Valley Youth House’s efforts towards diversity, inclusion and equity or contact info@ValleyYouthHouse.org.
Thomas R. Harrington
Executive Director & President
Valley Youth House