The Georgia State Conference of the NAACP has been made aware of the unfortunate racial harm inflicted upon an 11-year-old child at a summer camp run by the Athens YMCA in the summer of 2022. We stand in unwavering support of the family who has rightfully presented straightforward and basic demands for racial justice and sensitivity to prevail.
First and foremost, it is imperative that the Athens YMCA publicly acknowledges the harm caused by referring to their child as a "black boy" or a "black kid" and by calling other children by their ethnicity rather than their name. Such labels not only perpetuate harmful stereotypes but also undermine the child's individuality and humanity. We call upon the YMCA to rectify this issue promptly by issuing a public statement acknowledging the inappropriateness of this behavior by camp counselors.
Furthermore, disciplinary actions must be taken against the counselors and the Executive Director of the camp involved in this incident. It is crucial that those responsible for perpetuating racial harm are held accountable for their actions. The Athens YMCA must not tolerate such behavior within its staff and take appropriate measures to ensure that incidents like these do not occur again in the future.
Moreover, the demand for continued racial and diversity training is essential. It is through education and understanding that lasting change can be achieved. The Athens YMCA must invest in comprehensive training programs to equip its staff with the necessary tools and knowledge to foster an inclusive and welcoming environment for all camp participants. The Georgia State Conference of the NAACP fervently hopes that the Athens YMCA will expeditiously address the concerns raised by this family. It is imperative that camp experience is free of racial harm, providing children with a safe space to simply be children, free fromdiscrimination. We will continue to extend our unwavering support to this young man and his family in their pursuit of justice.
In conclusion, the NAACP State Conference of Georgia calls upon the Athens YMCA to take immediate action to rectify the racial harm caused at their summer camp. Together, we can build a future where every child, regardless of their race, can thrive in an environment free from discrimination.