YMCA Black Country stands with all who are hurting and affected by the brutal murder of George Floyd in America.
Mr Floyd, aged 46, was an unarmed black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes. Mr Floyd begged for his life whilst crying out “I can’t breathe” until he became unconscious and died in the street. Pressure was applied to his neck for over two minutes after being unresponsive and with no pulse detected. Mr Floyd’s death was witnessed and filmed on mobile phones by multiple bystanders, and shared widely on social media.
We understand that the consequences of this injustice are felt deeply by our staff, our customers and the communities we serve. As a local YMCA, we believe all people are made in God’s image and place equal value on every individual. We stand with those who face disadvantage or exclusion, and challenge discrimination and social injustice. In the words of Martin Luther King Jnr, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.
Diversity around the globe was accepted in the founding document of the World Alliance of YMCAs in 1855, where it is stated that no issues, however important they may be, shall divide the YMCA. The focus is on unity in Christ, following the prayer of Jesus Christ in John 17:21, that we “all may be one.”
We pray for our sisters and brothers in YMCAs affected, for peace and justice in the USA; and we pray for an end to racial discrimination everywhere, in all its forms.
YMCA Black Country is proud of its diverse workforce, and proud to be part of a community reflecting many cultures and ethnicities. We are stronger through diversity.
Steve Clay, CEO
YMCA Black Country Group
See also a statement from Kevin Washington , CEO & President, YMCA of the USA