“As Chief Executives of the five YMCAs working across London we are appalled to see the scenes coming out of America which has highlighted the systemic divisions and inequality that exist. Whilst the scenes from America are shocking we recognise that here in the UK many Black young people and communities face the same inequality and barriers to success.
The YMCA is the world’s oldest youth charity which was started here in London when a group of young people committed to improve the lives and conditions of the people in the community they lived in. Over 175 years later the YMCA now works globally in over 120 countries and welcomes all people, viewing each person as unique and with their own contribution. As London YMCAs we are part of that worldwide movement, supporting people and communities, providing safe places and spaces and those who are most vulnerable whilst celebrating the unique and special skills that they bring.
We stand as people and organisations that want to bring about a better world and call on all others to speak up and not stay silent on the issue of racism, injustice, intolerance, and embedded inequality. At times like this staying silent is not an option and we will continue to work towards addressing these challenges in our own organisations and communities.”
Arvinda Gohil, CEO Central YMCA
Gillian Bower, CEO, City YMCA London
John Baxter, Acting CEO, YMCA North London
Dave Ball, CEO, YMCA Thames Gateway
Richard James, CEO, YMCA St Pauls Group