Photo credit: Jéan Béller
Dear YWCA NYC Community,
We write to you in the wake of the Derek Chauvin murder trial. The videos and testimony re-opened painful wounds from a year ago when George Floyd was murdered. While it is a relief that accountability has been established in this case, it also serves as a sobering reminder that this is just one small step in the fight against systemic racism in America. As we know all too well, excessive force and killings in police encounters with people of color continues. We must bear down in the work to Eliminate Racism.
The Floyd family provides inspiration to us. In the midst of the traumatic loss of their loved one and the fog of grief, their message over the past year reminds us of the ongoing nature of injustice and the need to work toward true reform and healing.
Last week was a busy time at the YWCA NYC. While taking in the conclusion of the trial, the daily work to raise awareness and advocate for our communities continued. Students who participate in our Out-of-School-Time program in Coney Island learned about exercising their rights in a democracy when they marched with placards calling for an end to the digital divide. Our high school girls led a workshop on intervening to stop harassment and hate, and nurses and midwives joined us in a webinar focused on the stark and persistent racial disparities in maternal health.
We thank our YWCA NYC community for your support that allows us to do this important work and take the fight forward. And we thank the staff of the YWCA NYC who are activists every day, both those of you serving the children and young women of NYC directly, and those carrying out critical enabling functions. Your energy, compassion and expertise make progress possible.
Let us all find inspiration in this historic verdict and commit even more urgently to the YW’s mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.
Tracy Richelle High, Chair, Board of Directors
Alison Martier, Vice Chair, Board of Directors
Mary Crawford, Interim COO