We envision young people shaping communities
where everyone values and respects one another,
and where everyone has opportunities
to express themselves using media arts.
From the Board of Directors of GBYM:
A Letter of Commitment
Black lives matter.
From the horror of a nation witnessing the execution of an unarmed Black man by police and the use of tear gas and armed military to disperse unarmed civilians, to the throngs of peaceful demonstrators across the US risking their health to demand systemic change and racial justice, the fissures in our society have been laid bare, yet again.
Anguish and exhaustion remain visible on the faces of our Black family members, friends, and communities. Despite the centuries of trauma and oppression, we also witnessed individual and collective strength, an unwillingness to be silenced, and passionate civic engagement. We have seen multimedia pieces produced and published in real-time to promote immediate safety and sustained change.
The GBYM Board of Directors supports our Black families, parents, spouses, siblings, friends, neighbors, teachers, colleagues, fellow Board Members, volunteers, and leaders' right to be safe and feel safe everywhere. As individuals, we on the GBYM Board have different lived experiences, and we stand together in condemnation of racism that persists in the United States, including the myriad public policies that support racism. And we must do more.
In support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and consistent with our vision of young people shaping communities where everyone values and respects one another, GBYM Board is making the following immediate commitments to our community:
Ensure our classes are a safe, welcoming place for Black children, teens, and young adults to learn, discover, create, and make new friends.
Build a Board of Directors that is inclusive and diverse.
Make sure that Black voices are heard and honored in our meetings, communications, and programs.
Support students in middle and high schools, working together to fight racism and racist policies through their school newspapers, social media, and media and fine arts.
Expose the racism in Montgomery County and beyond through our documentaries and campaigns.
Take a stand explicitly against racism through our choices of projects, partners, locations, reading materials, guest speakers, films, and programming.
Ensure our programs and curricula teach racial equity and fighting racism.
Release ten short films produced by young adults on racial equity, for Montgomery County Public Television channels this summer of 2020.
Acknowledge the racism-related trauma experienced by our youth and provide free mental wellness programming, starting with our Summer 2020 virtual support groups.
And we are not done. Over the coming months, you will hear more from the GBYM Board. You will also hear from the young people in our programs, as they build their confidence and media skills to promote community building, multicultural understanding, and the common good.
We will not stop until racial justice is achieved.
Stay safe, stay strong, and stay engaged.
The GBYM Board of Directors:
Carol Rubin, Chair
Uri Pasternak, Vice Chair
Ellen Daniels, Secretary
Mandy Lam, Treasurer
Daniela Cano Costello