Response to Insurrection and Intimidation: A Message from President and CEO, Loria Yeadon

Last updated: January 8, 2021, at 9:03 a.m. PT

Originally published: January 7, 2021, at 4:02 p.m. PT

Democracy & Truth Prevail

Dear Y Community, 

After witnessing our nation’s free and fair election process at work in Georgia for the Senate runoff earlier this week, we tuned in yesterday morning to watch the electoral certification ceremony in our nation’s capital. Instead, we were horrified and saddened to witness an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., and the breach of the gates of the Governor's Executive Residence in Olympia. These are painfully dark, frightening, and heartbreaking moments in our nation’s history. Videos of riots, nooses hanging in the Capitol plaza, and confederate flags being paraded through the hallowed halls of the Capitol will forever be etched in our minds as a stark reminder of the racial injustice persisting in our country and the evil that can triumph when good men do nothing. 

The election of a new president by the people and the peaceful transfer of power are core tenets of our democracy that must be respected, protected, and never taken for granted. As citizens of the country we love, it is our sacred duty to preserve it.  

As we look forward to celebrating and honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the coming days, it’s appropriate that we pause and reflect on his words and call to action: 

Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy... Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God’s children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. 

Now is the time for solidarity and unity against acts of violence and intimidation that threaten the foundational principles of our country. The preservation of our democracy rests in our collective capable hands, and we must guard it as if our lives depend on it. It does. Our unity of purpose and shared values are our strengths that fortify our resolve and steady our will to stand together as one Nation for the freedoms and liberties we want to preserve for our children for generations to come.

We invite you to join us as we strengthen our democracy by actively living and preserving our core ideals, values, and principles every day and being role models and beacons of hope and inspiration in our community. By doing so together, we ensure that hate does not win, and truth and democracy prevail.  

Please be well, exercise self-care, and be good to each other.   

In community and gratitude,  

Loria Yeadon 

President & CEO, YMCA of Greater Seattle