Dear City Year Community,
Like millions of my fellow Americans, I was outraged and saddened by the events in Charlottesville this weekend. City Year is dedicated to the values of inclusivity, ubuntu and social justice for all – values that are in complete and stark opposition to the hatred, racism, bigotry, neo-Nazism and white supremacism displayed in Charlottesville and appearing in other communities across the country.
My heart goes out to the family of Heather Heyer, to the families of the troopers, Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-pilot Berke M.M. Bates, who lost their lives in the line of duty, and to everyone who was hurt standing up peacefully to racism and white supremacy.
I was deeply touched by the words of Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer, who said, amidst her grief, how proud she was of Heather, who lived her life by her values. Indeed, Heather was defending America's highest and best values – justice, inclusion, fairness, equality, and compassion – when she lost her life as a victim of domestic terrorism.
Today and every day, we at City Year will continue to put our values into action, through service to many of the nation's most vulnerable children, the majority of whom are students of color. All of our students need to hear, especially from us – who are deeply committed to their well being and success in school and beyond – that America stands with them and City Year stands with them. We stand with all who are the targets of hate, and we must and will work together every day to build a stronger, and fully inclusive country that embodies Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision of a beloved community.
Yours in service,