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May 29, 2020

Statement on the Tragedy in Minneapolis and Protests Across the Country

We are saddened by the recent tragic events in Minneapolis. The senseless death of George Floyd is another Black life taken in the epidemic of police killings of unarmed Black/African-American men in this country. We extend our deepest sympathies and heartfelt support to those affected. We stand in full accord with Floyd’s loved ones, the Black/African-American community, the people of Minneapolis and all who suffer as a result of escalated hate-filled violence and racism.

Floyd’s death – though heartbreakingly unjust - serves as an important reminder for the need for all of us to speak out against violence and hate. The Friends of the Children–Portland community condemns acts of violence, intimidation and the fostering of hate. Our community reaffirms our stand in our value to demand equity.

We acknowledge the historical and present injustice impacting marginalized communities.

We demand equity from ourselves and from our community.

We amplify the voices of our children, families and communities.

Our values guide us to achieve our mission. We use our values to make informed decisions and change the way the world treats and views our most vulnerable youth. We exist to empower our youth to continue this important work, for they are the change-makers we so desperately need in this world. In addition, we will continue to partner with advocates and organizations that are working to systemically change the racist structures and cultures that contribute to tragedies like the one the city of Minneapolis is living through today. The road to peace, equity and a socially just world is long and sometimes treacherous, but we have a responsibility to do our part and stay the course and keep moving forward.

Recommended Reading:

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin (1963)

Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X Kendi (2019)

The Fire This Time edited by Jesmyn Ward (2016)

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi (2019)

So you want to talk about race by Ijeoma Oluo (2019)

White Fragility by Robin Diangelo (2018)

Black for a Day: White Fantasies about Race and Empathy by Alisha Gaines (2017)


Traci Rossi, Executive Director

Randy Corradine, Director of Educational Equity

Anne Byrer, Professional Mentor

Phillip Johnson, Professional Mentor

Gregg Lavender, Professional Mentor

Amy Knauer, Chief Financial and Operations Officer

Rachel Pearl, Chief Program Officer

Wanda Poton, Associate Director of Education and Career Readiness

Kate Sacamano, Chief Development Officer