Black Lives Matter

Dear Peace First community,

Here at Peace First, our mission is to address injustice -- and to help young people take action when systems of power and privilege feel broken and stuck. In the United States, and around the world, we’re experiencing an epidemic of violence, abuse, and discrimination against black communities.

Today, we’re writing to you in solidarity with protests against anti-black violence, police brutality, white supremacy, and racism across the United States and beyond. We unilaterally condemn all racist violence and systematic racial injustice, and we are committed to helping young people find compassionate solutions. Historically, young people have been on the forefront of movements for change around the globe. This moment is no different. So frequently young people, particularly young people of color, are both disproportionately impacted by injustice and on the front lines of organizing and activism to address violence and hurt in our communities.

To our young people who are hurting, our supporters and allies who want to educate themselves, to the instigators and activists who are ready to step up to make change -- each of you is part of the solution. As we mourn George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and so many others our communities have lost to anti-black violence, young people are also imagining a better future. Young people have time and time again led movements for racial justice, and now is the moment to act.

Here’s how Peace First is responding to this moment in the U.S. and globally as the Fellow-in-Residence team: 

  • We hosted a global community call on June 5th to focus on how young people can access resources in this moment and respond to systematic injustice, and are planning additional community calls for young people in North America and Europe to learn about racial justice and addressing systemic inequity.

  • For the month of June, we’re developing social media content that uplifts voices of young black organizers and activists in our community who are taking action to address racism and violence, in addition to promoting resources from black-led organizations about how community members can help. 

  • We developed a comprehensive resource pack for young people and adult allies around the world to educate themselves, identify ways to support the movement, and take action in their local communities. View the list of resources and opportunities here.

  • This June, Peace First staff are committing time to listening, educating ourselves, and spending time evaluating our work and behaviors as they contribute to racial equity and justice. We’re hosting internal conversations evaluating our practices and organization culture, and convening a working group focused on accessibility, equity, and racial justice.

  • We’re collecting feedback from young people in our community about how we can better support them in this moment. How can Peace First show up right now? Share your thoughts here.

We hope that these resources provide opportunities for members of our community to take action, protest safely, donate, and learn. We recognize that our work at Peace First is deeply connected to systems of injustice, and it is our role as an organization to seek to understand, uplift, and empower young people leading movements for change -- especially young people of color on the front lines of this work. Our team knows, too, that our staff members do not lead this work in a vacuum, and we are committed to incorporating a racial justice lens in our work.

Today we’re asking each of you, what are your ideas? How can Peace First support you -- and what can we do better?

#BlackLivesMatter #SayTheirNames