The Summit Area YMCA takes pride in helping our communities learn and celebrate what makes us different. Most recently, we proudly co-hosted a Lunar New Year Celebration that shares the deep culture, heritage and history of our Asian neighbors.
Yet, especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic over a year ago, this same Asian community both local and on a national level has experienced a dramatic increase in discrimination, bigotry and hate crimes. We at the Summit Area YMCA condemn this behavior in our communities and where it is surging across the country and the world—it is against all that we believe in at the Y and our 4 core values of caring, honesty, responsibility and respect.
It is up to all of us— businesses, the government, and community partners — to come together and immediately support victims and families affected by these incidents, and work together to create long-lasting solutions that empower our communities with resources, support and education.
Our Y is proud of our commitment to fostering a community that welcomes and respects all. We recognize that social injustice and racial inequities are still prevalent in places where we live, work and play. Our role will continue to be one in which we seek to listen, learn, un-learn, partner and allow actions lead to impact.
We are proud to share that the Summit Area YMCA is taking an active role in advancing equity and justice in our local communities for all. Our Y is an active member of the Berkeley Heights Truth Racial Healing and Transformation Committee where we are working with local administration, police, school system and more to address and drive positive systemic change as well as the Summit Suburban Chamber of Commerce. In addition, as a result of our continuous partnership with the Berkeley Heights Diversity Council, our Y had the opportunity to connect and partner with Han Academy, Union County’s Dear Asian Youth group, and the Governor Livingston High School’s Asian Club and look forward to continue our partnership and explore how we can work together to support and assist Asian youth and our local Asian communities. We have hosted a Racism, Injustice and Where to Go From Here virtual teen panel and are actively working with local schools to create and provide students and youth with welcoming, safe spaces at the Y with positive role models and opportunities for mentorship and growth.
Furthermore, the Summit Area YMCA is dedicated to strengthening community by providing all individuals with opportunities to learn, grow and thrive—we are providing online community resources that include free educational trainings, reading recommendations, support help lines and more on topics such as Learn How to Stand Against Racism, Don't Be a Bystander Training, LGBTQ+ Resources and Mental Health Resources.
We are experiencing difficult times in our community but we know that trust and respect will always lead to sunnier days ahead. We continue to be encouraged by our community’s resilience and togetherness throughout the past year, and the strength in willingness to advocate for equity and social justice for our neighbors, friends and families. To all the allies and partners across the YMCA movement and in our local communities, thank you. Together, we are stronger and what we do today, will be for a better us tomorrow.
The National YMCA Employee Resource Groups in solidarity with the Asian Pacific Islander Leadership Network call for the Y and society to Break the Silence and condemn the uprising of racist and violent attacks against Asian Pacific Islanders.
Check out these community resources compiled by the National APILN and share with your Y staff, volunteers, and community members encouraging everyone to take action.
Explore these other resources to share with your community:
Learn How to Stand Against Racism
Learn more about our commitment to Diversity and Inclusion and how the Summit Area YMCA provides and foster a welcoming, safe space for community, while working with community partners to advance social equity and justice.
About the Summit Area YMCA
The Summit Area YMCA is one of the area’s leading 501(c)(3) charitable organizations. Founded in 1886, the Summit Area YMCA has a history steeped in working side-by-side with our neighbors to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, income and background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Each year, we serve over 15,000 individuals with our free and fee-based programs and services in an area spanning the communities of Berkeley Heights, Gillette, Millburn, New Providence, Short Hills, Springfield, Stirling and Summit. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, we are able to offer financial assistance for our programs and services to those with demonstrated need.