Together We Can Do Better: A Message to the Community

Dear Y Family,

The recent tragic events in Minneapolis and around the country have reminded our Y that lasting, meaningful change can only be accomplished when we begin treating every individual with dignity and respect. Our fellow citizens, our friends and our neighbors all deserve to thrive. We feel the grief, the pain and frustrations of those who have lost loved ones, those who have been hurt, and those who face injustices on a daily basis.

We at the Y are listening, hearing and learning from the voices in the protests taking place nationally and here in New Jersey, who are echoing generations of systemic and societal abuse, prejudice and inequality in our country.

As a YMCA dedicated to bettering our communities, we will continue positive systemic change within our own family of staff and team members. This in turn extends to the thousands of youth and families in our communities that we currently serve.

We do not have the answers, but we will encourage dialogue to gain a deeper understanding. We will hold ourselves accountable for our own biases, whether they are conscious or not. We as an organization that strives to make true, meaningful change are sincere by starting at the roots, through a lens of diversity that truly welcomes all with equality, empathy and pride.

We will join with our community of youth and teens to explore the social injustice of today, ensuring that they become the change makers of the future. Our responsibility to our youth is to help them understand our past and to provide them the platform to chart a course of action in creating a future that embraces diversity and inclusion.

The Summit Area YMCA stands for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. We have evolved as an organization since our founding in 1886 and will continue to learn and evolve while working together to ensure an equitable community for all. We are at a crossroads of historical crisis; a global pandemic, rising racial tensions, abuse of power and a growing societal divide. It is our mission, and our will, to provide a safe space for our youth to grow, our community to be healthy in mind, body and spirit and to engage all for a stronger community, stronger family and stronger self.

For a better us.

Please stay safe and be well.

In solidarity,

Paul Kieltyka
President & CEO
Summit Area YMCA