YES! Racial Equity Statement
Youth Empowered Solutions (YES!) believes that our collective power as youth and adult allies to achieve the change we seek in the world depends on recognizing the history of structural racism that exists in the United States. We embrace the responsibility to work toward organizational and societal change in service to creating more equitable, thriving communities for all.
We are committed to creating community change through the lens of social justice by applying an explicit racial equity framework. We believe that structural racism is the underlying root cause of inequities we seek to address across many different sectors, including health, education, housing and the criminal justice system. Our position is that racial equity is critical to successful youth empowerment because of the many ways that youth of color are disproportionately impacted by these biased systems that are rooted in white supremacy. In order to create positive change using our YES! Youth Empowerment Model®, we must continually work to name, analyze, and dismantle structural racism, which we believe perpetuates other systems of oppression.
We know that applying a racial equity lens to our process will help us achieve equal opportunities for all people and interrupt structural barriers that exist based on race, age, class, gender, sexual orientation, and many other social identities. We are working continuously to embed a racial equity framework into our organization that will enhance our mission through brave conversations on power and privilege, creating a racially equitable organizational culture, and bringing racial equity in the context of youth empowerment to the forefront of all of our work. We are committed to extending these organizational values intentionally throughout all of our communications, partnerships, local advocacy efforts, youth and adult leader trainings, consulting, and technical assistance. Internally, we are committed to the recruitment and engagement of a diverse staff and board, building a culture that is reflective of balanced power, and offering training and other professional development opportunities on equity and racial justice.