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The Fresh Air Fund is actively working towards our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and ultimately to the changes required to becoming an anti-racist organization.

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

The Fresh Air Fund stands against injustice and racism, and believes that the lives of the children we serve matter. We believe that The Fresh Air Fund can have the greatest impact on the communities we serve when its teams, volunteers and Board actively and intentionally engage in conversations about our history, systemic racism and inequality, and commit to actions and policies that dismantle practices and systems.

Our commitment is to ensure equity is at the core of our work across the organization, and to uplift and invest in the lives of our young people and ensure they have access to quality and enriching summer experiences and youth development programs.

The Fund embarked on a journey in 2015, laying the groundwork on changing language, identifying organizational values and initiating conversation and communication internally and externally around racial and social justice. We are committed to building on this work and taking actions to demonstrate our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and ultimately to the changes required to becoming an anti-racist organization.

We recognize it is a journey. We will learn, grow and may make mistakes along the way. We will serve as a positive agents of change for our youth, support quality youth programming, bridge the opportunity gap, and address the racial gaps in the economy and education that present too many challenges to the children we serve. We know we can do more, need to do more, and will do more to support and demonstrate our commitment to our youth, their futures and to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Statements

Black Lives Matter

June 3rd, 2020

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 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.

Sincerely,

Fatima Shama
Executive Director
The Fresh Air Fund

Resources

We’ve shared information and links to activities for speaking with children about social justice and Black Lives Matter on our Resource page. We’ll continue to update it with additional materials.