June 03, 2020 Category: Press Release

Dear members of the Fresh Air community,

The disturbing events of the past several weeks have reignited for me anger, deep sadness, and horror at what we are witnessing in this country at the hands of racism, bigotry, racial injustice and violence.  The horrifying death of George Floyd has, yet again, reminded us of the senseless killing of Black men and women and how Black men and women have been profiled for living their lives, enjoying the fresh air, bird watching, or by going for a run.

Many members of our Fresh Air community — our staff, children and families, alumni, and beyond — continue to experience injustices in their daily lives and my heart aches because of this country’s history and present reality of racism and racial injustice.

Over the past few weeks, The Fresh Air Fund has been working to prepare for summer 2020 amid this pandemic that continues to demonstrate great challenges for all of us and that has disproportionately and tragically affected the children and families we serve.  We are working to re-imagine what a Fresh Air experience looks like and planning to provide opportunities for thousands of New York City children this summer. Our commitment to protect the children we serve and ensure their safety and well-being is as strong as ever.  

We are deeply committed that our children know that The Fresh Air Fund believes that they matter, that their lives matter, and that The Fresh Air Fund stands in solidarity against injustice and racism. We support our children and staff, and are providing safe spaces for discussion and expression. We are working to support our community and will be sharing resources with our staff and the broader Fresh Air community.

When we can’t find the words, we need to try harder and we need to listen. And I, on behalf of The Fresh Air Fund, am stating unequivocally that Black Lives Matter and that The Fresh Air Fund does not, and will not, tolerate racism, hate and inequity. Through this moment of pain we will continue to lift and work in our purpose.


Fatima Shama

Executive Director

The Fresh Air Fund