Dear Members of OYUnited,
The past couple of months have been devasting for all of us. It started with COVID-19 ravaging through our communities, and then we were forced to witness the horrendous slaying of a black man at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis, MN. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Stephon Clark and so many others have had their lives suddenly taken away from them due to racism and white supremacy. Racism is another pandemic, which has infected our entire nation and claimed the lives of countless men and women over centuries. Where is the vaccine for that?
Enough is enough! We are tired of watching black and brown bodies being looted and disposed of, and with no consequences to the individuals who are responsible. Especially at the hands of men and women who have sworn to serve and protect us.
OYUnited stands with all of you and the Black Lives Matter movement in the fight for equity and justice. We are an anti-racist organization and condemn all acts of racism and oppression. “Not 1 more!” No longer will we sit back and turn a blind eye to the war on black and brown people! We will continue to rise, we will continue to show up, we will continue to use our voices, and mostly importantly, we will continue to take action!
Since our inception, OYUnited has been committed to youth leadership and uplifting the voices of our members and their communities. Across the country, the young leaders of OYUnited have been advocating for systemic change to combat the hate, racism, and oppression in our country, one community at a time. We have also named police accountability as an important reform within the justice system in our national recommendations to
“Increase Opportunity and Decrease Poverty in America.”
Furthermore, several of our CATs have been engaged in police-community relations work, like our Sacramento CAT, who consistently convenes community dialogues between the Sacramento police and the community, in response to the killing of Stephon Clark. The most recent events have fueled our fire and we are ready to take it to the next level.
Many thanks to all the brave young leaders out there, who are either on the front lines or leading behind the scenes. You are all pounding the pavement, risking your freedom and safety, and showing up to have your voices heard. Your work will not go in vain. In fact, we are already starting to see some victories in communities across the country. The mayor of Los Angeles has defunded the LAPD by $150 million, Minneapolis and Portland have both moved to remove police out of our schools, the Minneapolis City Council has pledged to “dismantle” the police department, Mayor DiBlasio has promised to move $1 B from policing into youth programs, former President Obama has called on Mayors across the country to sign the pledge for major reforms. Most importantly, charges have been filed on the officers responsible for the death of George Floyd.
While we are happy about the progress, there is much more work to be done. We must continue to remain united and in solidarity to dismantle the racist and oppressive institutions that allow these injustices to exist. We must continue to envision and work toward the better society with safety, opportunity, community, responsibility, and justice for all. We must also continue to spread love among one another, because we all know that love conquers all.
Please stay tuned to stay up to date on how OYUnited continues to push forward with ending racism and police brutality, and rebuilding America on a foundation of respect for all.