Defending Our Values

The horrific death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on 25 May shook not just a nation, but the entire world. Dying and being a victim of police brutality because of the colour of your skin is simply not acceptable and it is up to each of us to make it unacceptable. The case of George Floyd is one of many cases of racial discrimination both in the United States and in other places around the world, highlighting the deep-rooted issue of racial inequality which is still severely plaguing our societies.

As one of the largest Youth Movements in the world, the YMCA strongly believes in equal opportunities for all. No matter the colour of your skin, your gender, sexual orientation, your country, ethnicity, age or background, ALL should have the opportunities to thrive and live a resilient and peaceful life.

Racial discrimination often stems from unjustified fear, lack of diversity education and an unjust historical background. We cannot let these factors plague the lives of our children, young people and families today.

Until everyone all over the world, no matter their race or background will be able to proudly say that they matter and that they can freely follow their dreams, we cannot rest.

The World YMCA stands in solidarity with everyone fighting to end racism, discrimination and to work towards a more just and inclusive future for all.

We call upon YMCAs to initiate or enhance programmes aiming at educating community members on Diversity & Inclusion and activities that bring together young people of different backgrounds which encourage active listening.

We call upon YMCAs all over the world to defend our common values, to be bold and speak out whenever necessary and to advocate for concrete solutions which can make our world a more equal and inclusive place.

Carlos Madjri Sanvee
Secretary General
World YMCA