Dear Friends of Girls Inc. of Jacksonville,

Recent events in our nation and in our own community are once again showing us the tremendous injustices in our society, especially for people of color.  As an organization, we are sickened and outraged by the senseless loss of life of Black citizens.  We stand in solidarity with the entire Black community and we share their horror and grief.

Our programming for girls has long been guided by an understanding of the institutional and structural racism that is embedded in our community, nation, and world.  We recognize that now, more than ever, our organization’s vision statement “Empowered Girls and an Equitable Society” continues to be relevant and important.  Individually and collectively, we all need to stand up and take action to create a more equitable and just society.

At the forefront of everything we do is to give girls the tools they need, as empowered leaders, to stand up and take action.  Our mission to “Ensure girls grow up to be Strong, Smart and Bold,” or healthy, educated, and independent, empowers girls to use their voices to advocate for what they believe in, and to help bring about change.  Girls Inc. of Jacksonville girls, staff and board members are joining with Girls Inc. affiliates all over the United States and Canada to make their voices heard, through our national and local advocacy efforts, as the avenue to address and end systemic inequity for people of color.

Continuing to ignore the elephant in the room or turning a blind eye is no longer acceptable nor will it be tolerated. It is past time to harness our community’s and our country’s outrage over these continued injustices to focus on solutions that can bring about a more equitable and just society.  We cannot continue to fail the world’s children, grandchildren, and future generations.  As Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan recently said, “Don’t just talk about it, be about it.”  Along with our entire Jacksonville community, that is exactly what we at Girls Inc. of Jacksonville are going to do.  We are deeply committed to “being the change we want to see in the world.” Mahatma K. Gandhi