An open letter to the community: Black Lives Matter

We are deeply saddened by the murder of George Floyd and the countless Black lives stolen by those who swore to serve and protect. We hold our space for our students, staff, and community members who carry the burden of anti-Blackness every day. 

In the words of Frederick Douglass“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” 

The repercussions of 400 years of injustice for Black people in America are everywhere, from the wildly inconsistent response to Black Lives Matter protests to the disproportionate harm oBlack, Brown, and Indigenous people from the coronavirus pandemic.  

This is not a new moment in our history, but an ongoing struggle against injustice and inhumane treatment of BlackBrown, and all marginalized people; aggression, violence, and inequality continue to create constant trauma and fear within communities of color. 

Southwest Youth & Family Services’ mission to transform the futures of youth and families cannot happen without recognizing anti-Blackness as the root cause of these atrocitiesTo that end, wcommit to these actions within our agency 

  • Increasing support for our Black and African American colleagues 
  • Acknowledging, evaluating, and shifting our relationship with the Seattle Police Department to always put the safety of the community first 
  • Recommitting to racial equity at all levels of our organization 

In our community and across the country we demand:  

  • Reforms to demilitarize and reduce harm by police 
  • Enforcement of policies that hold police accountable for violence 
  • Major public and private investment in Black leadership of anti-violence initiatives and social services  

With the intention to honor the resilience and lived experiences of all people of color, we welcome uncomfortable and difficult conversations in the hope we can move forward as a stronger and more connected community.  

Places to Support: 

Resources and Organizations to Support Black Lives: 

Black lives matter, now and always. We must stand together and say: NO MORE. 



Steve Daschle | Executive Director