Michelle Ellis Young, CEO, Expresses Condolences; Calls for Regional Support of Anti-Racist Efforts
We extend our sincere condolences to the families, friends and community of the victims of the mass shooting in Buffalo. Simply put, we are outraged by this senseless and heinous act of violence targeting Black people. The spewing of hatred, rooted in White supremacy, has no place in America. While remembering the 10 lives lost, we also pause to pray for the three others injured as all went about a very normal routine – grocery shopping. YWCA South Hampton Roads stands in solidarity with our sisters and brothers left to grieve this cowardly act of violence.
Since 1908, YWCA South Hampton Roads has strengthened social movements that eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all, and we are committed more than ever to leaning into the fullness of our mission.
As we wrap up our Stand Against Racism challenge, where we have worked to galvanize the community around our efforts to eliminate racism, we are grievously aware that we still have work to do at the local, state and national levels. While this incident happened in Buffalo, regions across the country are also vulnerable to such hateful acts of crime — Hampton Roads is no exception. As such, we must continue working to dismantle systemic racism and injustices that threaten our safe and vibrant communities.
At this critical moment, we are calling on our elected officials, leaders in the business community, workforce and economic development stakeholders, and educators to become active participants in the fight to eradicate racism right here in Hampton Roads. The Commonwealth of Virginia, and Hampton Roads in particular, holds a checkered legacy on racism. As we continue reckoning with the ills of our past, it is incumbent upon our region to lead actionable conversations to move our community toward true racial healing.
Beyond this statement, the YWCA South Hampton Roads will continue laboring to uncover workable solutions that will create transformational change—inching us closer to becoming an antiracist region; but we can only do this work if we tackle it together by valuing humanity and demonstrating courtesy, dignity and respect for all. To encourage dialogue and education in our community, we invite the community to stay engaged in the following ways:
- Join us for Conversations That Matter: Being Black in America – TBD (For details, visit ywca-shr.org)
- Register for the Conference on R.E.S.T. (Racial Equity and Social Transformation) – Inaugural Juneteenth event (To register, visit at ywca-shr.org)
- Contact the YWCA South Hampton Roads for resources on building an anti-racist community