A version of this letter was sent to the YMCA community on Monday, June 1, 2020.
Dear Y Family,
I must start by acknowledging our national pain and unrest and offering our deepest condolences to George Floyd’s family and friends.
We are living in a moment marked by deep levels of anger, fear, frustration, exhaustion, and uncertainty. The daily protests across the country underscore the institutional obstacles that deny so many Black families and communities the foundational promises of life and liberty. As we witness a universal call to action to address inequity and injustice, we stand with our communities and pledge that we must do better.
We have an enormous amount of work to do — as a country, as a city, as an organization, and as individuals. It is heartbreaking to me that we cannot physically come together in community to process what is happening and plan for action. But I know the Y, as an organization rooted in communities across New York City, is still a place and a platform for change.
Today our mission is more important than ever: We are here for all New Yorkers to empower youth, improve health, and strengthen community. We embrace the responsibility to help every person thrive. And we embrace the responsibility to help change the systemic issues that prevent that from occurring, including racism, intolerance, and bigotry.
We believe systemic change will occur through community, citizenship, and civic engagement. Moving forward, we will work with our communities to develop concrete ways to move our society to a better place.
We are grateful to have you as a member of our community and thank you for your support.
President & CEO
YMCA of Greater New York