At this critical junction in our country’s history, we are filled with deep sorrow for the lives lost by racially motivated violence and the spread of the Coronavirus. As an agency dedicated to lifting up the lives of vulnerable children and families who have been marginalized and struggled in silence, we, at YCS, are now more determined than ever to stand up and advocate for the rights of all people.
It has been 11 days since the brutal murder of George Floyd in Minnesota and the recent senseless slayings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Corey Jones, Oscar Grant, Botham Jean, Sandra Bland, and countless others. We mourn for all their families and those who died without getting justice. The fight for social reform at all levels of our government and neighborhoods has just begun.
Many people have said 2020 has been the worst year they can recall. It has been a year so uncomfortable, so painful, so scary, and so raw that I believe it is forcing us to grow. It is a year that screams so loud, finally awakening us from our slumber.
It is our hope that it is the year we finally accept the need for change, declare the change, work for change, and become the change.
We know that the families we serve every day in underserved communities live in fear and despair. The trauma they are experiencing now will deeply affect them in the future, if we do not stand up on the side of justice, economic reform, equality in education and healthcare.
YCS’ vision, is and always has been since its founding in 1918, the belief that every person has at their core a resilient capacity to overcome adversity and thrive with kindness and compassion. We are one human race. Together, we are stronger, wiser, and more compassionate. We can replace fear and despair with hope and courage.
We, at YCS, cherish the human spirit and vast potential inherent in every individual from infancy through adulthood. Our mental health clinics, special education schools, therapeutic homes and homes for those challenged by developmental disabilities are committed to protecting every individual and helping all of them succeed to the best of their abilities, find joy and cultivate meaningful relationships.
On behalf of the entire YCS community, we pledge to work even harder during this pivotal moment for peace, justice, and equality in every New Jersey community.
With Peace and Unity
Tara A. Augustine
President and CEO