At the YMCA, we work to create a community in which every person feels valued, emboldened and loved. Like you, we struggle to make sense of the recent events in Minneapolis and all over our country. We recognize the pain, frustration and anger caused by the death of George Floyd and the long history and prevalence of systemic racism, and we stand united with our neighbors demanding change.

As a Y, we work to foster relationships and eliminate barriers to a better life. During the pandemic, the Y has demonstrated its true purpose – to strengthen the foundations of community – by responding to the critical needs of our communities, providing meals, child care, life-giving supplies and comfort to those who were alone. The Y is not a gym, a swim lesson or a basketball game. The Y is community. We are people connected by a common desire to create communities in which every adult and child has the opportunity to thrive. Though the pandemic keeps us apart, we have a responsibility to come together to stand up for one another and to grant each other the grace to share our views, fears and truth without judgement.

YMCAs across North Carolina are committed to working to address the underlying issues in our community that fuel racism and the hopelessness that can lead to distrust and even violence. Together, we can turn our empathy into empowerment and our pain into purpose. Lasting change takes a commitment from all of us. We are better together. We hope you’ll join our efforts to create a stronger community.

June 2nd, 2020