The Covenant House New York community stands in solidarity with all who have and continue to experience systemic racism and police brutality, and alongside those who speak out against these injustices. The killings of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Breonna Taylor, and so many others, are not isolated incidents. Inequity and injustice against communities of color, immigrants and low-income families must end.
These systemic injustices greatly affect the communities we serve – 60% of young people at Covenant House are Black or African American; 90% of young people who reside with us are people of color. Many of our dedicated employees who devote themselves to our mission are also people of color.
CHNY serves young people experiencing homelessness with unconditional love and absolute respect. It is our duty to speak out and act to end systemic racism and oppression – as it is at the root of what causes youth homelessness. We cannot work to end this cycle of homelessness without also working toward an end to these other systemic evils.
The CHNY family has been coming together over the last several weeks to talk about how we as an organization can more fully embrace a holistic commitment to racial justice, and more proactively promote anti-racism, diversity, equity and inclusion in all areas of our organization. We have always been committed to this goal, but, upon reflection and in light of the urgent attention being brought to these issues throughout the City and the world, recognize the need to make these issues more central to all discussions and decisions within our agency.
Covenant House New York is creating space to facilitate discussions on anti-racism, and diversity, equity, and inclusion, for all levels of staff. We are also committed to improving processes at every level, as they relate to both youth and employee experience within our organization. We understand this work will take a lot of listening, reflection, and time, but it is work that we are dedicated to seeing through.
As an organization, Covenant House New York will continue to speak out against racial injustice and its manifestations that disproportionately affect the people we serve. We stand with this community today and every day in fighting for a just future for our city and world.