I am both saddened and outraged about the tragic death of George Floyd as well as the recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and sadly so many others. Our thoughts remain with these families and now the deeply impacted community of Minneapolis.
As a nation we should expect better, and must do the work of dismantling systemic racism, ultimately ensuring the safety and dignity of all people. The accumulation of incidents like these leaves an indelible mark on young people, especially young people of color. At Boys & Girls Clubs, we believe we have a responsibility to use our positions as supportive adults to help members process the world around them, especially when times are hard.
These acts of violence are extreme manifestations of the inequities and injustices that too many of our young people and their families encounter on a regular basis. We know this week’s headlines are a symptom of a larger problem—one that cuts across every aspect of society, including schools and other systems that serve young people and their families.
However, we have an opportunity and an obligation to galvanize all Boys & Girls Clubs around the significant issues and needs impacting our young people and the communities they live in. We will be calling on local Club and community leaders across the country to help us identify how Boys & Girls Clubs can continue to be an active part of the solution.
For more resources on how you can support your kid or teen, please see some of our resources around Talking to Teens About Traumatic Events.