GOTR Statement June 1, 2020
We at Girls on the Run St. Louis are grieving and are outraged alongside our community. The murder of George Floyd and the collective cries across our country and in our own community have evermore made apparent our need to follow the Girls on the Run Core Value to "recognize our power and responsibility to be intentional in our decision making."
At Girls on the Run St. Louis we know that this must be at the forefront of everything we do for our Girls on the Run. Every Black person has the right to live and thrive in community without fear of violence or racism.
We as an organization and myself as a white female leader have significant work ahead to become truly anti-racist and equitable. We are listening, we are learning and we will continue to amplify the voices of those who have been and continue to advocate for change and live with oppression every day. I commit to you we will do more.
We continue to challenge ourselves to align with the clear analysis and recommendations of the Ferguson Commission. Additionally, we are following the guidance and leadership of Health Equity Works (formerly For the Sake of All) to support high quality health outcomes and equity for every member of our community.
At Girls on the Run, we teach our participants to experience their uncomfortable emotions, to speak up and stand up for others and to be a positive force for change in their communities. As we hold space for the devastation and grief in our community and our world, our hope is that we may continue to be a part in equipping the next generation of leaders to positively impact the world, to make it a more equitable place for all. We are finding hope in the lessons we teach our girls in things like:
- not being a bystander but being a standbyer
- putting yourself in someone else’s shoes to develop empathy for their experiences
- valuing the worth of every member of the team
- using our voices in ways that matter
- making choices that create a better world.
The reality remains that we must, we can and we will do better. We are not doing enough yet. We will lead our girls by example because actions are more powerful than words.
Please join us in committing to this work, using our voices to effect change, encourage healing and promote thoughtful, intentional action as we move forward together.
Courtney Berg, LCSW
Executive Director, Girls on the Run St. Louis