Statement from the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago on anti-Asian violence
We at the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago are heartbroken and outraged at the uptick in violent attacks against the Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago does not tolerate any acts of violence. We believe that such acts —particularly those motivated by racism and prejudice—run absolutely counter to our core values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility.
In our journey to become an anti-racist organization, the YMCA of Metro Chicago recognizes the need to engage critically with, and raise awareness of, the struggles and attacks that our communities are facing. The Y’s mission to strengthen families, children, and communities is inextricably tied to the actions we take, now and moving forward, to thoughtfully address issues that affect the families of color we serve.
Our commitment to strengthening families means continuing to create safe, welcoming spaces for people of all backgrounds to enjoy healthy, active lifestyles. Our commitment to strengthening children calls us to lead by example, instilling the values of inclusivity and compassion by fostering good character and celebrating cultural differences. Our commitment to strengthening communities entails offering programs and services that address systemic inequities and treating our neighbors with the dignity they deserve.
The YMCA of Metro Chicago stands in solidarity with the Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander members of our Y family, and we aim to support collective healing wherever we can. We encourage you to utilize the following resources, many of which come from fellow Chicagoland nonprofit organizations actively combating racial injustice:
- Linktree compiled by YMCA Asian & Pacific Islander Leadership Network (APILN)
- Illinois Legal Aid Online’s informational resource on hate crimes
- Bystander Intervention Trainings from the Chicago chapter of Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ)
Our member locations will also post in-center bulletins pointing to the resources linked above.
For decades, the YMCA of Metro Chicago has sought to lift all people up—especially those who have experienced disproportionate harm due to their identities. And our work is far from over. We cannot claim to have all the answers, and it is only through persistent reflection, reevaluation, listening, and action that we may live up to the fullest ideals of the Y’s mission.
As you take the time to process these devastating events alongside your families, we hope you can lean on your Y community for support. Together—with the honest and sometimes challenging reckonings needed to compel change—we can strengthen and heal one another.