Statement in Support of Black Lives Matter
From the Desk of Thomas R. Harrington, President & CEO, Valley Youth House:
At Valley Youth House, we are concerned, saddened and angered by the racial violence taking place across the United States. The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery are just a few of many race-based injustices that have happened in our nation. These acts of racism and injustice once again expose long- standing divisions in our society that have plagued black and brown communities for centuries.
Valley Youth House stands in solidarity as allies in the Black Lives Matter movement, which seeks to bring justice, healing and freedom to Black people across the globe. We envision a world in which every young person belongs to a nurturing and inclusive community and we re-affirm our mission to uplifting the most vulnerable members of society while working to combat systemic racism.
As an agency we commit to using our voice and platform to fight against injustice. While we may not have the solution to change the world, we do have the power, resources, and heart to change ourselves and our community.
With this renewed commitment and urgency in mind, we are taking the following steps to bring about equality, civility and justice for all:
Listen with our Hearts – Valley Youth House will 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 build understanding and compassion for each other as a foundation for our continued work.
Plan with our Heads – Valley Youth House staff will work 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 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 actively anti-racist organization. This means we will 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 that we serve, and we will advocate for them with our public officials and the general public.
We would be honored to have you join us in this effort. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in serving as a mentor for youth, as a volunteer, or as a fellow advocate for change with our local, county and state officials.
Thomas R. Harrington
President & CEO
Valley Youth House