The Club’s mission is to
“inspire all youth, especially
those who need us most
, to become productive, caring and responsible citizens.”
Those who need us most clearly include the more than 90% of our members who identify as ethnic minorities and do not have equal access to a great future due to the color of their skin. The recent headlines have brought to light systemic issues that impact our community every day - they are often just harder to see for those who don’t experience racism directly.
We met as a team last week, and then with our teen leaders, to begin the important conversations about what we can do as an organization and a community. While we know that these are just the first steps in a marathon, we have developed the following actions to work towards racial equity:
- Youth Support- We will ensure that we are supporting our youth as they deal with the trauma that these incidents are causing through check-ins, open door policies, and providing support to parents and guardians as well.
- Youth Voice- We will continue to create a space for our teens, especially those from marginalized communities, to have a voice and to amplify that voice and provide them with the tools they need to affect change in the system by supporting them when they speak to representatives, attend community rallies, and strive for change.
- Safe Space- We will continue to work to create an environment of inclusion, acceptance, kindness for our members, volunteers, staff and stakeholders. We will put into place a zero tolerance policy for racism or discrimination of any kind.
- Communications- We will share resources for having a dialogue on race, for supporting mental health for those traumatized and for being an ally. We will utilize our platforms to provide a voice for the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) community.
- Human Resources- We will re-examine our hiring practices, professional development, compensation, and promotion practices to ensure that there is no bias. We will provide our team with proper cultural competency and anti-racism training. We will work to recruit as a team that represents our membership at all levels of the organization, by conducting more outreach to communities of color and making job opportunities more accessible for all communities.
- Volunteers- We will work to expand the number of BIPOC volunteers on our boards, our committees, in program areas and with our parent council. We will increase the number of volunteers who have similar backgrounds and experiences to the youth that we serve through refined outreach practices.
- Social Connections- Our organization is privileged to be well-connected and will leverage those connections intentionally by linking people of color to the various power structures we are associated with via fundraising events, committees & task forces in order to expand the makeup of who has access to power.
Black lives matter. Black youth matter. If we are to truly support the marginalized youth in our community then it is no longer acceptable to simply not be racist, we must be anti-racist.