Black Lives Matter

June 9th, 2020, 12:00 PM

To our fellow young professionals:

Our program and leadership stands in solidarity with the black community in mourning the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the many others black lives that have been violently taken from this world due to racism and injustice. Black Lives Matter.

We also cannot make this statement without acknowledging our own shortcomings. We have not done the work to include the many diverse communities that make up Erie. We are pledging to you now to move our efforts surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion from discussion and plans to practice and action. We will be conducting annual strategic planning during June & July with actionable goals to address this area. Those plans will be released to the public by the end of July 2020. We are consulting with local experts and leaders to evaluate our efforts.

We are calling on our members to join us in this work. We invite you to:

  • Listen: listen to organizations and leaders within the Black community. Trust and believe them when they share their experience. Center the conversation around their voices.
  • Learn: Educate yourself. Don't expect anyone else to do it for you. Read, digest, and apply what you learn. Equally important—unlearn the misinformation and prejudice biases that are deeply rooted in our society and in ourselves.
  • Lead: In the board room, in your staff meetings, and at your own dinner table. Stand up for Black voices everywhere. Denounce racist systems and beliefs. Use whatever power and influence you possess to demand action, accountability, and change.

To learn more about calls to action and to donate, visit

Together, we can lead Erie to a better future for everyone.

The YEP Leadership Team

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