As we reflect over the last week of the events of the world, amidst the already stressful pandemic that is happening, we have a responsibility to step up and use our voice to create change for youth and people of color.
The uprising and protests occurring around our country are a response to generations of racist institutions and generational trauma experienced by our Black peers. These protests are a response to the police brutality experienced by too many Black individuals in our nation. Naming this is important, so we can move forward in action to a future place of positive change and healing.
Youth MOVE National stands in solidarity with the youth of color in our nation. Racism persists throughout our systems, with a long and ugly history. Our Youth MOVE family knows all too well the disparities that exist in our country’s mental health, juvenile justice, and child welfare systems.
So what do we do? There are no easy answers and no real one clear answer. However, there are many individual actions we can each take. These actions, layered on top of each, can show us a path forward for positive change.
At Youth MOVE National we commit to:
- Educating our staff, our network, and our peers about the unique barriers faced by people of color in the systems we advise.
- Pushing back fear, confusion, and insecurity that runs underneath our systemically racist institutions.
- Learning and growing alongside our Black peers.
- Channeling this growth into action by naming disparities when we see them, advocating for change to address racist policies, and building a stronger collective community for young people.
- Creating opportunities for allyship and the elevation of voices of color in the work we produce and the systems we inform through partnerships.
- Challenging our network to step into this space with us, and to join us in these commitments.
As we move into the coming weeks, we will be checking ourselves on these commitments. More importantly, we are committed to not losing momentum, which, too often happens after these events. Beyond our commitments, we want to provide you with resources, platforms, and opportunities to engage in this space. We invite you to join us in both formal and informal ways to spread these messages and to commit to creating anti-racist systems and policies.