Dear YMCA Family,
Across the country and across our community, the strain and stress of the COVID-19 pandemic has been compounded by the pain, anger, fear, dismay, and heartache many are feeling following the senseless death of George Floyd. When members of our community are hurting from injustice, we say… We see you and we stand with you.
What happened in Minneapolis matters. What has happened in other states matters. What happens in Florida and in each of our communities matters.
At the YMCA of Central Florida, all belong and all are welcome. We are a safe place where our rich diversity is to be respected and celebrated. This is central to our Christian heritage, our mission, and our values. In this challenging time, we have a critical role to play to use our voice and our platform as a community builder. Now more than ever, we need to put our mission into action to bridge divides and foster greater understanding and mutual respect in order to create a stronger Central Florida.
We know that we still have work to do as an association to fulfill our commitment to equity and inclusion. We need to listen, we need to understand, we need to learn, and we need to act.
Yesterday, I challenged our Y staff to start taking additional steps toward creating a better us by providing resources from the Y-USA on diversity and inclusion and by initiating an internal assessment to help us identify how we can improve. Working with our Diversity, Inclusion & Global (DIG) Committee, we will take meaningful action steps toward the completion of measures not yet achieved in our assessment and seek ways to further apply these initiatives across every Y location and program.
I ask that you please join with us as we share in the responsibility placed upon each member of our community at this moment to do what’s right and remember we are called to serve and love our neighbors as ourselves. The YMCA has a longstanding history of advocating for those in need of support. Now is our time to write this chapter in history for the YMCA and our Central Florida community. I am grateful to serve alongside you in this worthy cause as we forge a better future for all.
President & CEO
YMCA of Central Florida