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Statement by Our Executive Director on Recent Racial Injustices

We at City Year Providence believe that Black Lives Matter. Period.

We share the sentiment of our national organization in condemning the inhumane murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Sean Reed, and TOO many others. Enough is enough. They should not have died, the system did not value their lives, and there is absolutely no way to justify the pain that their deaths have inflicted on their families and the black community. Honestly, the broader condemnation of the racism and violence against black and brown lives, in its many ugly forms, is long overdue. Yet here we are. What will we do to make change is the most critical question that we can ask ourselves and each other.

City Year Providence has a responsibility to our community to combat systematic racism in our city and state. We will continually work to make City Year Providence an anti-racist organization. We will use our voices to disrupt racism against our students and in our educational institutions. We will enter our partnerships with schools to listen to our students first and collaborate with those that do the same. We will stand up for them, amplify their voices, and challenge everyone we partner with to do the same. Last, but perhaps most importantly, as the Executive Director of City Year Providence, I will do more and work harder to dismantle the very systems of oppression that benefit me.

There is so much information swirling around us, and it seems hard even to focus. For City Year Providence, the one guiding principle that we will focus on above and beyond anything else is this – Providence students’ lives matter and our AmeriCorps members will continue to walk alongside them, serving to ensure they feel seen, heard, and valued. Together, they are our future leaders.

With gratitude and in solidarity,

Jennie Johnson

Executive Director

City Year Providence

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