In this Moment at the Y
Last updated: June 17, 2020, at 3:31 p.m. PT
Originally published: June 15, 2020, at 2:43 p.m. PT
June 12, 2020
Dear Y Family,
The gravity and reality of the inequities and injustices we are grappling with are exhausting, but I'm also encouraged to witness the authentic dialogue and sincere engagement from across communities. My heart is full of heartbreak and hope. During this time, we are challenged to hold opposite extremes even while we heal, care for ourselves, and find a path forward. Mourning the senseless loss of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and others locally who have been abused, profiled, or killed at the hands of police is both tragic and irreconcilable. This moment has brought into focus the exact magnitude and impact systemic racism has in our communities.
In this moment at the Y, our mission and equity statements are calling us forward to the frontlines. We are so proud to see so many in our community answering the call and rising to the occasion through peaceful protest, contacting government officials, anti-racism education, and finding other ways to support the black community and other marginalized communities during this time of unrest.
The work that the Y of Greater Seattle staff and leaders are doing to address racism and white supremacy in our community is just beginning. Groups of YGS employees are coming forward to help us ensure that we stand as One Y unequivocally for equity and justice for all. It is time for everyone to move beyond our comfort zone, engage, and find constructive ways to contribute to meaningful change and the Y is part of that journey.
At the Y, we recognize that combating racism must be central to all our work. We will not end youth homelessness unless we end racism. We will not end hunger until we end racism. Black Americans will continue to have lower life expectancies if we do not end racism. We seek to view our healthy living, housing, hunger, chronic disease, wellness, mental health, early learning, camp, and active older adult programs with a lens of justice and equality.
Our mission is to empower all people, especially the young to reach their fullest potential in spirit, mind, and body. We will achieve our mission by removing barriers that limit access and opportunity. Combating racism, one of the largest systemic barriers, will be critical to achieving a "better us."
In peace and community,
Loria B. Yeadon
President & CEO
YMCA of Greater Seattle
Our Equity Statement
The Y actively promotes a culture free from bias and injustice. We are dedicated to removing institutional and systemic barriers that result in oppression and racism. We will be accountable to marginalized communities for creating equitable and sustainable environments where social justice is woven into every facet of our programs, and by caring for our communities in a culturally versatile and respectful manner. Learn more here.