After weeks of writing to you to offer updates and inspiration from our peace advocates around the world amidst a global pandemic, we are now reaching out in sadness and in outrage.
The recent acts of injustice against Black Americans – the horrific killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and countless others – are tragic examples of the ugly realities of racism, bigotry and the brutality shown by too many police officers towards Black people and people of color. These are not isolated events, but rather examples of systemic racism that have insidiously plagued the United States for centuries.
We are taking an unprecedented step by taking a united stand across our global sites because these events have resonated so deeply and universally. This is not just an American issue. Racism is a global pandemic that has taken lives in the communities that we work in around the world.
As an organization and as individuals, we stand firmly against racism and inequality and are committed to building an organization and movement of young leaders for peace that does the same.
As our youth leaders and their coaches from around the world begin our virtual PeacePlayers Friendship Games sessions today, we will hold George, Ahmaud, Breonna and all those affected in our hearts, while we stand with our brothers and sisters of color. We remain hopeful, as we know they are the next generation of global leaders who are committed to build a more peaceful world for us all.
We also know that words are not enough, action must follow. We are committed now more than ever to contribute to the fight for racial justice and toward an equitable and peaceful future in the United States, and around the world. We invite you to join us to be part of the solution.
In peace, hope and solidarity,