Compassion and Inclusion Are Our Strengths

A statement from President & CEO, David Duro

Today, I join you with a broken heart as I see the avoidable, needless, and tragic deaths of African-Americans, the riots and violence, and the divisiveness and unrest that has come to a boiling point in communities across our nation. Our hearts are filled with pain, frustration, and a fierce desire for change—emotions we are sure many of you share with the loss of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and the many who have preceded them. At the Y, we believe that Black Lives Matter and extend our sincerest thoughts, prayers and, condolences to the families and loved ones of all whose lives have been tragically cut short.

As we battle the coronavirus and the ensuing economic crisis, the widening gaps in health, education, and employment equity for people of color and members of other marginalized communities have never been more clear and pronounced. The institutionalized racism and other forms of hatred, prejudicial stereotyping, and discrimination did not begin with recent events; they have existed in our country since its beginning. But these events serve as a loud and resounding message demanding that we continue and emphasize our work to become a more welcoming, inclusive, and diverse YMCA.

Today, I am reminded of the importance of the work of our YMCA. We have the opportunity and the responsibility to influence and change society through the work that we do every day inside our walls and in our programs. We know that one of the most impactful paths to sustained change is nurturing and role modeling the change we want to see in the world. A segment of our welcoming statement states: “The Y is a force for building bridges among all people—regardless of ability, age, birthplace, cultural background, ethnicity, faith, gender, gender identity, ideology, income, race, or sexual orientation. As bridge builders, we are narrowing the gap between the have and have nots, white and non-white, straight and gay, old and young. It is not the differences that matter, though we must be aware that differences exist. It is our sameness, as humans, that our work seeks to value. The intention of our work is to facilitate friendship and relationship among all, and the treatment of people inside the envelope of the YMCA values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility.

Now and always, I believe that compassion and inclusion are the embodiment of our collective strength, that what unites us will always be stronger than what divides us. Thanks for your support and your commitment to our Y and our community.

We are (and will be) Better Together.

David Duro
President and CEO