Reflections on Community

August 23, 2017

Recent horrifying actions of white supremacists, white nationalists and Neo-Nazis are shining a very bright light on the prejudice, bigotry and oppression of people that has existed throughout our country’s history. Sadly, some people today still believe they can succeed only if they oppress others. We condemn these actions and beliefs.

Avenues for Youth believes a whole and inclusive community is possible.

  • We envision a community, state and nation where all people truly are equal, and where the diversity in our humanity is embraced.
  • We envision a community where all people have opportunity to pursue economic prosperity for their families regardless of the color of their skin, immigrant status, gender-identity, faith or sexual orientation.
  • We envision a community where love really is love, and where all faiths are equally valued.
  • We envision a community where anyone can walk down the street, ride transit or drive their car without fear of police brutality or unfair treatment in the eyes of the law.
  • We envision a community where all children receive equal and strong educations.

At Avenues for Youth, we know that “We all do better when we all do better.” But to get there, our country must finally be free of oppression, bigotry and prejudice.

We call on local, state and national political leaders to set aside all self-interests, to speak out boldly and take concrete actions against these actions and toward a more just, caring and healthy community.

We encourage everyone to honestly explore their own biases and prejudices, to talk with their families and neighbors openly, to step up and embrace diversity, to be bold and build a whole community.

At Avenues, we have many youth and staff members who have been personally hurt both by the long history of oppression and the recent displays of bigotry. We also have staff members who have benefited from the white privilege derived from systems of white supremacy.

Our commitment to social change is both internal and external. Within the organization, we are asking our youth and staff what they need from Avenues to help heal. We are taking steps as a community to learn and to have open dialogue. Externally, we will communicate more boldly about injustices and how to heal our community. And we will embrace partnerships that are working for social justice. Join us.

– The Staff and Board of Directors, Avenues for Youth