We at YWCA of Rochester & Monroe County feel the shockwaves following the death of George Floyd, a black man suffocated by a white police officer earlier this week. We send our condolences to the family and friends of George Floyd, and of Ahmed Aubrey, and Breonna Taylor – to all victims of hate crimes and communities of color. We are also thinking of our sisters and brothers at YWCA Minneapolis and the whole Minneapolis-St. Paul community through this difficult and frightening time.

As an organization with a mission of eliminating racism, we believe we must all do our part to promote and achieve racial equality. We MUST take a stand. We must unite in our vision of a community with peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.

We believe that addressing this specific incident alone won’t be enough to prevent future incidents of police violence against Black people, and people of color in America. Our country’s failure to address institutional racism is costing lives. Racism is why coronavirus is killing more people of color than white people. Racism is why police shootings are a leading cause of death for young Black men. Racism is why Black mothers die more frequently in childbirth. Racism has no place in the America we all deserve.

At YWCA, we demand a world of equity and human decency. We envision a world of opportunity. We commit ourselves to the work of racial justice. We will get up and continue to do the work until injustice is rooted out, until institutions are transformed, until the world sees women, girls, and people of color the way we do: Equal. Powerful. Unstoppable.

Please join us in our mission to eliminate racism and empower women by speaking up and speaking out against racism in our world.  Learn more through the YWCA Toolkit for Change at https://www.ywcarochester.org/toolkit-for-change/