Black Lives Matter

Youth Focus stands against systemic bias, racism, and unequal treatment. As an organization deeply committed to diversity and inclusion, we stand against the legacy of systemic bias, racism, and unequal treatment that continues to plague our communities.

When you work in social work, social injustices and mistreatment of marginalized populations manifest themselves daily.  When I worked as a therapist, I would often hear stories from young black clients who were discriminated against, or who would admit to feeling afraid and unsafe in certain places because of the color of their skin.  Once, a black male youth told me he did not trust the police and was afraid of what they might do to him because the police killed both his father and grandfather. The trauma of those experiences was apparent in his anxiety, fear, and anger. I have seen time and time again, black youth getting suspended and receiving legal charges at higher rates than their white peers for the same actions.  I quickly learned the reality of white privilege as I listened and learned from the experiences of those around me.

In our organization, the most important thing we can do for the youth and families we serve is to listen to their stories and truly try to empathize with their situation.  This will lead to learning, growth, and connection.   

There can be no tolerance for racism, hatred, and violence. The lives of our black staff, the youth we provide services to, and the families we support matter. We are committed to being an organization that recognizes that it is not enough to simply not be racist but to be anti-racist.  The youth we serve depend on us to set this standard and to be a leader and example in our community.  #blacklivesmatter #BLM




Sarah Roethlinger

Executive Director of Youth Focus

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