A Message from Laurie Black, President & CEO
Boys & Girls Clubs of King County

Like so many, I am deeply saddened and angered by the hate perpetrated on People of Color. The avoidable, violent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and others reflect society's ingrained racial prejudice and its unjust and tragic consequences.

At Boys & Girls Clubs of King County, we have always known diversity makes us stronger together, and we are committed to respecting the experiences of People of Color. We realize that this week's headlines are a symptom of a more significant problem that cuts across every aspect of our society. It disproportionately affects communities of color in profoundly negative ways that span generations. We owe it to our employees, Club families, and community to condemn heinous acts of violence against People of Color as having no place in our Clubs, our community, or the world.

As the white wife of an African American man and mother of two African American sons, my family has experienced racism in many different forms, from neighborhood injustice to unequal treatment.

Many are experiencing powerful emotions and reactions that may feel overwhelming, especially right now. But the result can be a catalyst for real and immediate change. How? By dismantling systemic racism and other barriers preventing genuine equality. We can galvanize around our youth to combat bigotry and hatred to resolve significant issues impacting our young people and communities.

We emphasize social and emotional learning to help young people navigate difficult times and make the best choices for their welfare, their future, and their community. Our team of trusted adults are experts in the impacts of trauma and its effects on youth behavior and long-term outcomes on adulthood. We create an environment that equips kids with tools to become engaged citizens and build confidence to stand up for what they feel is right.

We embrace the opportunity to be a part of an expanded vision of inclusiveness and equality. It's why we developed a Race, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team, and it's why we work hard to include diversity in our imagery and equitable language in our messaging. 
 
As former President Barack Obama stated recently, “We must work together to create a ‘new normal' in which the legacy of bigotry and unequal treatment no longer infects our institutions or our hearts.”

We remain committed to being a safe, inclusive, and diverse place for our youth, our Club families, our team, and our community. I am proud to stand with People of Color on our team, in our Club community, and across the world.

Stay safe and be well,

 

Laurie Black
President & CEO
Boys & Girls Clubs of King County

 

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