For years, the Boys & Girls Club has worked to create a judgement-free environment where kids are able to explore their talents and reach their full potential. Unfortunately, they don’t always have that freedom in our society.
Four years ago, our Club created organizational values that act as a model for how our staff and members should conduct themselves. These five values represent the best of what the Club has to offer young people. Our youth deserve an equal opportunity to succeed in life. We value diversity and equitable treatment for ALL. After all, we have our future generation of community members and leaders right here in our Club programs. We will continue to stand with them and support them on their journey to adulthood.
See below how a few of these Club values relate to what some of our Club youth are experiencing during this difficult time…
“Everything that is happening in our world has opened my eyes and I hope it is starting to open others as well. It’s really hard to see that people have so much hate for people of color. At the Club, there are people from many different walks of life. I am proud to say that we all respect one another and have an environment where we are safe enough to be ourselves and be judged on the content of our character not the color of our skin. The color of a person should not matter, we all are human. We are not going to just sit back and allow this to happen to our people anymore. Change has to happen. Everyone already thinks black people are thugs, violent, and aggressive based on the way we look. Why should we keep trying to have y’all see us differently? All you see is our color and negative people. As we grow up we have to be told that others are going to view us differently and that we can’t do the same thing that others do. It hurts that we have to act a certain way and be treated differently because we look different. People will never understand the pain that this puts us through. I would love to see people trying to come together as a community and stop the racism. Others could try to change the way they see colored people. We should all love each other and stick together. We’re all different, but shouldn’t this be celebrated?”
– Danaiyah, Fond du Lac High School
“When an injustice was done in Minneapolis finally people reacted. People don’t see that sometimes we are baited into doing bad things so we get in trouble. That is because the media only wants you to see certain things. The media does not portray how black people really are. Everyone is influenced by the media to see the negative side of things and it’s not fair to anyone of color. The protests that are going on are mostly peaceful but the media does not show the world those. We have no guns, we are fighting with voices but we still get shot down. We are turning into a country where people no longer feel safe, which is really sad. The communities that people live in should be that place where they feel safe the most. The Boys and Girls Club is a place that I go to because I feel safe there and I know I don’t have to be in fear. Sometimes we are never given a fair chance to succeed, but I know at Club there is hope and I am given chances to succeed. We as people of color are worth so much more than we are given credit for. Give us a chance to show you.”
– D’Sean, Fond du Lac High School
“We don’t have the same rights and we get mistreated because of our skin color. We are judged because of our skin not our personality. So out there in the world we have many instances where we feel like we don’t belong. At the Boys and Girls Club there is a sense of belonging because we are treated equally and with respect. I wish this wasn’t the case, but it’s the reality we live in. It hurts me that we don’t even have a chance because of the skin that we were born in. When we say we are black and proud they wonder why. It is because deep down inside, we will always know that we are a great society. No matter what they may do to us or even say about us, we will always be black and proud. I’m proud of who I am, what I look like, and what I have accomplished. If others can’t see past the color of my skin, I feel sorry for them, but I have people around me that will.”
– Sweetness, Fond du Lac High School