Updated: Jul 7
America SCORES stands with our community against hatred, prejudice, racism, and police violence. Black Lives Matter. To the ASNY poet-athletes, families, staff, school partners and coaches: We are here for you. We love you. We will work to amplify your voices and fight for racial equity. Monday was my five-year anniversary as Executive Director. I feel honored to have been given the position of leading an organization that has become a family. In those 5 years, the Black and Brown youth of ASNY have, in amazing displays of courage, shared their own experiences of fear and injustice through expressive writing and spoken word. I have felt grief, sadness, outrage listening to their stories. But no matter how many times I listen to the beautiful words of our poet-athletes, I will never know what it is to live in fear because of the color of my skin. It is not enough to listen. To our white-identifying friends, family, colleagues, donors, board members, volunteers, coaches, partners, soccer players and poets: we must do better. I don't always know what to say, but I know I have to say more. If you support the young people in our program: LISTEN and provide safe space LEARN how to be anti-racist TEACH your children how to be anti-racist SHARE your knowledge and experience, especially with those who do not always agree AMPLIFY youth voice from our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter READ our Racial Equity Statement and why we believe SJYD is so important JOIN our Community Council PROTEST peacefully VOTE If you are a young person in our program: LOVE yourself - you are important and amazing WRITE and speak up TELL US when we are not getting it right SHARE your talents by tagging us @AmericaSCORESNY and @KickingitForwardNY PROTEST peacefully VOTE and encourage the adults in your life to do the same.
Social justice youth development is about more than just providing a platform; it's about partnering with youth to enact change.
Our youth always seem to have the words when I cannot find them: "Put the guns down, let's start to make a change, Let's make treating someone bad, like that is something strange, Like the sins of the world, let's leave that all behind, Judge others by the content of their character, and let's see what you will find" - MS 161 Girls Team, Harlem, November 2019