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"We cannot look away from the strife in our society and become complicit in the systemic bias that pervades our country because this is impacting the futures of our children and our country."

JAKC Stands with Kansas City

The recent events in Kansas City, LouisvilleSouth GeorgiaMinneapolis, and New York City are unfortunately only the latest in the ongoing story of strife for communities of color across our nation in every state. Our hearts ache for the families of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd, and the many others who have had their loved ones ripped from them by acts of violence and racism. Our spirits are weary of hearing time and again of injustices like those faced by Christian Cooper for simply existing.
Compounding all of this, we have witnessed the destruction brought about by the COVID-19 virus and the disproportionate impact it has had on low-income neighborhoods and communities of color in Kansas City. Under-resourced schools are struggling to provide tools for effective distance learning to their students and are brainstorming how to move forward next fall. Parents are balancing the wellness of their families and returning to workplaces, all in light of scarce childcare availability. Entrepreneurs and small-business owners are searching for ways to stay afloat while still safely serving their customers and providing income for their employees.
As leaders in the non-profit community, we are proud to articulate and share Junior Achievement’s clear values. Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City thoroughly condemns racism in all forms and rejects a culture of hate. We are committed to helping ALL young people reach their potential, no matter the color of their skin, religion, sexual orientation, family income, or any other characteristic. We are committed to showing today's youth that their differences are a strength that can and must be leveraged to bring people together rather than drive them apart.
The past few days have weighed heavy on our minds, yet we know we cannot allow ourselves to fall back on our privilege. We cannot look away from the strife in our society and become complicit in the systemic bias that pervades our country because this is impacting the futures of our children and our country.
·       We are challenged to learn how we can better support the many students, teachers, and volunteers of color who we impact through our work.
·       We seek to understand how we can be a comfort to them and become agents of change in a time where they fear for their right to peacefully exist.
·       We question how we can continue to ignite a spark in the futures of our children when the world looks so bleak.
It is easy to look around at the state of things and want to shut your eyes. But we ask you to join us in resisting that desire. Our kids need us now more than ever. Now is a time to listen. Now is a time to learn. Now is a time to engage.
Every JAKC staff and board member stands shoulder to shoulder with the communities we serve. It is an honor to work with the students, families, educators, volunteers, and business partners who reflect the incredible diversity of our community. The vast spectrum of identities within our community is one of Kansas City's greatest resources and opportunities.  
 
This is our home; you are our family. Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City is committed to providing the necessary tools so our young people can achieve their greatest potential. We believe in you. We are here for you. We will move forward together. 
In Solidarity, 
Megan Sturges Stanfield
President & CEO
Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City

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