Our core belief is that ALL young people deserve an EQUITABLE chance to reach their full potential. We work hard on many fronts to advance the hopes and dreams of the young people who need us most. We believe in them and trust that if we can help them believe in themselves, they can and will go off to become caring citizens and make their own lasting differences throughout their lives.
But what distresses us is to find time and time again that for so many of the young people we love and believe in, hatred and racism stand in their way. What saddens us is how many of our kids live in fear. What we find endlessly maddening is that the dream our kids will one day live in a completely inclusive and welcoming community, is still just a dream.
And what frustrates us is knowing how unaware our community often is to how hard it is to be a person who is not White in Wisconsin. We are not moving fast enough to fix the racial disparities that exist in our State. We have the distinction of ranking consistently among the very worst states in the nation in terms of racial equity. Education. Jobs. Incarceration rates. Income. The racial disparity in our beloved State is extreme. Of that there should be no doubt.
This disparity wouldn’t exist without the many ways the majority culture perpetuates systemic racism and it wouldn’t exist without bias. At a personal level, we see the hate and racism that still lives on in our kids’ and in their families’ lives every day. And we see the trauma it brings and the re-traumatization that occurs in our kids’ hearts and minds when another Black father, son, and friend dies because they are Black. We want, desperately, for us all to be so much better than this.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley stands up for all young people, especially those who need us most, and we stand for making sure everyone has access to the same opportunities. We are committed to doing our part to help dismantle systemic racism, we are committed to being responsive to the trauma, both personal and generational, that is too much a part of our kids’ lives. And we are committed to doing the best thing we know how to do – surround our kids with caring adults so that they may feel and be safe, and so that they may be the generation that finally gets its right and helps the United States of America be worthy of its ideals.