The Bridge for Youth is devastated by recent shootings of Black youth, including the shooting death of Daunte Wright at the hands of Brooklyn Center Police Officers. Our hearts and prayers are with Daunte’s family and friends. We stand as one with our community, who have been deeply impacted by these tragedies, and who seek justice and reparation from historical and ongoing racial violence and oppression. Organizationally, we remain committed to prioritizing and elevating the voice of youth in advancing racial justice and driving systemic change. 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗕𝗿𝗶𝗱𝗴𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝘁𝗵 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗱𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝘀𝗼𝗹𝗶𝗱𝗮𝗿𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘆𝗼𝘂. The Bridge is available 24/7 for youth who need someone to talk to or someplace safe to go. Call 612-377-8800 or text 612-400-SAFE.
At The Bridge for Youth, we recognized the critical need for self-examination in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd. Almost immediately, we formed a Racial Justice Cohort to embark on a soul-searching journey to understand where and how we need to improve upon fulfillment of our mission and the ways we support and work with youth, most of whom are Black and Indigenous People of Color. We ultimately aim to shift and to impact the culture of The Bridge to be a more accurate reflection of our mission and values, while highlighting the voices of the youth and staff. The Cohort, made up of representative board, staff, administration and youth, drafted a set of priorities in 4 areas: structure and governance, programming, human resources, and community relations/communications (Download PDF).
As a first step, the cohort is engaged in a process led by Dr. Raj Sethuraju, noted specialist in restorative justice and conflict resolution as seen through a racial equity lens. Using “listening circles,” the process facilitates constructive dialogue designed to build trust and community. These circles have brought forward enlightening insights. Next, we will set a collective racial justice vision and take a deeper dive into reviewing policies and procedures, governance guidelines and programmatic areas, to identify ingrained organizational bias. Actions to dismantle these biases will follow that review.
Here at The Bridge, we are on an intentional journey in our commitment to advance racial justice. We will continue to provide updates on the Cohort’s progress in this important and transformational process for The Bridge for Youth.