|“Breathe in…… Breathe out……” We have used this opening for our newsletters each week during these last few months to reground ourselves and get focused on the week ahead during this pandemic, and it feels particularly poignant today. This simplest and most basic of human rights — the right to breathe — has been taken from far too many Black people, Indigenous people and other people of color in this country for hundreds of years. Most recently George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, but dozens of others including Charleena Lyles here in Seattle, and perhaps the outrage at this injustice has finally reached a tipping point. The trauma and pain that all of us — and especially Black folks — are feeling today is on top of the pain of losing family and friends from COVID-19, and is on top of the devastating financial impact on so many families that makes paying for rent and food a daily struggle.
Right now youth development organizations are on the front lines providing support for meeting basic needs, learning supports and child care for essential workers, and they will be essential in supporting the healing and emotional support that all of our children, especially our children and youth of color, need now and will need in the coming months and years. With new guidance for summer programs out last week from Washington’s Department of Health, you can expect that more programs will be opening for day camp and other summer programs, which will provide more opportunities for engagement, belonging, and healing.
We must do better, and we must focus on anti-racist actions and policies to change the trajectory of our communities and our nation. YDEKC is committed to being part of the solution, and we look forward to sharing concrete actions we are taking in the coming months.
Jessica, and the rest of the YDEKC team
Youth Development Executives of King County
ydekc.org | firstname.lastname@example.org | 206.336.6912