The Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro (BGCP) is saddened and outraged by the recent events in Minnesota and other unjustified deaths perpetrated on people of color. BGCP stands for equal justice under the law. We are compelled to register our concern over the events that have occurred most recently to George Floyd, which calls into question our nation’s commitment to equal justice under the law.
Today, millions of Americans live in fear knowing there is a high likelihood they will be treated differently and actively harmed simply because of the color of their skin. The racism they face is both cultural, systemic and institutional. It’s in the inner workings of our criminal justice system, schools, health care, and even in the interactions between neighbors, coworkers, and friends.
Racism has deep and lasting impacts. It terrorizes and traumatizes youth, families, and communities. And in the case of George Floyd, as with so many others before him, it kills.
Everyone, in Portland, in Minnesota, and across this country, has a responsibility to work together to create a society that is actively anti-racist, where people regardless of race or class can get justice. We must do better. We must be better. We must call it out and hold ourselves accountable for racism where it exists.
“When BGCP implemented our Trauma Informed service model several years ago”, said CEO, Erin Hubert, “it was in an active effort to address and alleviate the impacts of the traumas our families face, including the racist systems our families of color fear. We’ve worked in partnership with our communities to use restorative justice rather than punitive measures with our youth; to connect families with resources they need to thrive; to foster opportunities for meaningful connections between young people and law enforcement; and to empower our Club youth with 21st century skills and opportunities to help them achieve their wildest dreams. But this is still not enough. This addresses the effects, and not always the causes, of the trauma our communities face every day.”
BGCP utterly rejects the abuse of power by police authorities that led to George Floyd’s unjustified death, and so many other, heartbreaking and unnecessary deaths. We continually seek to learn and grow in inclusion, and we’re committed to being a safe, diverse and equitable place for our youth, families, and staff who face any sort of oppression.
We must take action to actively fix the systematic form of injustice that leads to rigged and unequal patterns of injustice. If we want our children to grow up in a society that truly values their lives, we must dismantle systems that promote oppression and inequities.
Get involved in uprooting these systematic patterns of injustice structures that create and justify unnecessary violence and silence toward black, brown, and indigenous individuals. Call your representatives and fight for reforms to our criminal justice system and all forms of institutional racism that undermine diversity, equity and inclusion.
Don’t Tune Out and Don’t Stay Silent!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 15, 2020 (Portland, OR)
This week we were notified by Governor Brown that youth facilities could begin reopening on May 15 under strict guidelines and regulations. We are currently assessing our capacity and ability to provide a summer program under these rules. Some of the new regulations include:
- Stable groups of 10 members and 1 staff in a room that must stay the same for a week.
- Daily member and staff health monitoring and tracking.
- Separate food service for all stable groups.
- Increased sanitization after each room change & bathroom use.
The safety of our families and members is our top priority. As we plan and assess our capacity, we will be making all of our decisions through the priority lens of safety, ensuring that when we reopen we can continue to protect our youth, families, and communities. The state regulations for reopening will be restrictive and change how our programs look this summer. However, we are committed to designing a Club experience that is responsive to our families’ needs to the best of our ability.
We have asked families to share their needs for summer, as we plan for Club services, safety, and complying with new state regulations. Once we have created solid plans, we will communicate those with families by email, at our meal services, on our website and through social media.
In the meantime, Club staff are here for our families. We will continue to provide meal service, community resources, virtual Club programming, and free virtual counseling services to members and their families until our doors once again open.