Alongside our Afterschool colleagues, we have been Called In to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Included here is a blog by our CEO Julee Brooks in BOOST Collaborative which shares the importance of this movement and this moment. Together with 16 other afterschool agencies we began by submitting a better to the Mayor in support of The People’s Budget.

“Most of us are compelled to work in afterschool programs because we want to empower youth, nurture young talent, even level the playing field. Despite doing this important work daily, we are painfully aware that the conditions of schools, neighborhoods, and economies just never change.

So, we find ourselves, though well-intended, propping up a system that still doesn’t equitably serve all the people in this country. As agency leaders, we are witness to, and work daily against, the pressures, politics, and punishments of this inadequate system. We recognize our own vulnerability in the face of scarcity, and we stand on the thin edge of demanding change while fiercely gripping the ground beneath us.

At their core, afterschool programs work to bridge gaps in an inequitable education system, providing quality offerings that otherwise would only be available to our youth’s wealthier peers. Through youth voice, we build power among young people to bring them closer to true self-determination. But trying to rectify inequities in an inherently inequitable system is a Sisyphean task and the rock will never get up the mountain until there is change in the systems themselves. To ensure this movement results in policy that delivers justice, a more equitable distribution of resources, and true liberation, we must work together, as a whole system, amplifying the demands of people impacted most and holding elected officials and decision-makers accountable to them.”

You can read the full blog post here.