Artist: Nikkolas Smith
Our hearts and minds are heavy with grief and anger from the multiple incidents of brutality and racism we have witnessed over the past several weeks. We must stand with our black youth, families, and staff in sadness, compassion, and anger for the repeated trauma and racism they have faced and continue to face in our country. It’s time for change.
These recent incidents continue to shine a spotlight on injustice and systemic racism and structures that hurt so many and wound our communities, time and time again. And then there are the very real harmful mental health impacts youth and adults face when these high-profile incidents of police brutality and white supremacy go viral. Yes, when they are caught on film they bring much-needed attention to the issues, but we recognize these are not isolated incidents.
As an organization, our own color-blindness may have kept us from speaking up on issues of race but we believe it absolutely shapes our experiences and claiming to not see color can harm us and stop us from addressing the inequities we know exist. In alignment with our values, standing up for and with our young people, our inclusion statement, and the work we are doing as an organization to address and expand our commitment to diversity and inclusion, we want to publicly acknowledge the grief and trauma our black youth, families and, staff are experiencing. We care about you. We see you, and we want to extend our support and find out how we can better serve you. We must do better. Our youth deserve that from all of us.
President & CEO, Camp Fire National Headquarters