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A statement to YNPN Twin Cities members

Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of the Twin Cities grieves the death of Jamar Clark, and the subsequent conflict and trauma in the aftermath of protests and police actions. We also mourn the deaths and destruction caused by the terrorist attacks across the world in the last week - we mourn for victims in Beirut, Paris, Yola, Bamako and beyond. Our sadness extends to our Muslim friends and community members who are experiencing discriminatory behavior and rhetoric, including being asked to apologize on behalf of terrorists.

YNPN Twin Cities’ core values are to connect through purpose, challenge to change and lead together. The Islamophobia and racism displayed in our community inherently contradicts our core values. Our colleagues, friends and members are experiencing difficult and traumatic events, and we stand in solidarity with them. We support those who have stood up for justice, compassion, nonviolence and transparency.

In our Twin Cities home, the death of Jamar Clark has exposed tensions built on a legacy of racism and immense disparities impacting our community right now. All organizations are collectives of individuals and are susceptible to carrying the same fallibilities that individuals can have and perpetuate across generations. We want to specifically call out that nonprofits are not immune to this pattern. This includes police departments and governing bodies.

We fully acknowledge that the nonprofit sector is a product of and operates within the context of the same systems that perpetuate racism and implicit biases. In light of this, we call on young nonprofit professionals in the Twin Cities to hold strong to our value of "striving for respect and inclusiveness" and our vision of "challenge to change." We believe this requires us to take a critical look at ourselves, our work, and our communities. We believe this requires us to expect more and take an active part in creating equitable solutions that put an end to hatred and promote inclusivity and mutual respect.

YNPN Twin Cities encourages our members to live out our values of connecting through purpose, challenging to change, and leading together, all grounded in diversity, access and inclusion. We encourage you to have a conversation with someone who thinks differently from you, and to seek out organizations and resources that are working to end racism and Islamophobia.

We look forward to hearing from you, our members. YNPN Twin Cities commits to creating a safe space to discuss and grow together, and invite you to join us in future conversations and programming about how the events of the last week have impacted us, how we can do better as a community, and how we hold each other accountable to live out our values.

Sincerely,

YNPN Twin Cities Board of Directors


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