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!