January 9, 2021

YNPN.GR Reflects on the January 6 Acts of Terrorism

On Wednesday, January 6 2021, we witnessed a violent act of terrorism at our nation’s Capitol. Like many of you, we found the act so egregious and appalling that it took time for us to reflect and process. The Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Grand Rapids (YNPN.GR) strongly condemns these actions and the institutional racism, white supremacy, and hatred that catalyzed these events. This attack threatens democracy and reminds us how dangerous it is to take it for granted. It is important that we all not only take care of ourselves, but also take meaningful action to enact change in our communities.

Democracy is resilient because of citizens who care, individuals who speak up, and people who do the hard work to make society more just and equitable. YNPN.GR believes the nonprofit sector plays a crucial role in preserving democracy and civic infrastructure. As an organization, our mission is to empower emerging professionals to thrive, grow, and build community within the nonprofit sector. The community we build must have equity and diversity as foundational values. 

We are committed to using our collective voice, resources, and influence to create equitable change in our community.  We encourage you to reach out to your colleagues and peers as we all process the events that unfolded on Wednesday. Beyond taking care of each other, each of us can learn how nonprofits can fulfill their civic role in and duty to democratic processes from Bolder Advocacy and familiarize ourselves with anti-racism resources.

Internally, we are committed to continuing and strengthening our work on diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism (DEIA). Our DEIA committee is tasked with ensuring that DEIA values, policies, and practices are consistent across the organization. This work includes updating policies and procedures to reflect our values, embedding a DEIA lens in YNPN.GR’s strategic framework, and increasing representation from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) throughout our organization. We welcome you to join us on our journey towards equity, please reach out to us to learn how. 

YNPN.GR will continue to speak up and speak out about issues that so deeply affect our community. Nonprofit professionals have demonstrated incredible resilience over the past year, responding to new challenges and community needs during the COVID-19 crisis, encouraging citizens to participate in unprecedented levels of voting and civic engagement, and adapting to changing circumstances quickly. Democracy in the U.S. will persist and we will continue strong as a community, together.

– YNPN.GR Board of Directors