As a non-profit serving the youth of a diverse city with a significant immigrant population, Somerville Youth Soccer affirms our commitment as an organization to anti-racism and stands as one with our Board Members, Coaches, Players, and Families of Color.
So we state loudly and unequivocally that BLACK LIVES MATTER. All lives will matter only when Black Lives Matter.
Simply being non-discriminatory and inclusive isn't enough. We must be anti-racist. Racism is a public health crisis and we need to be talking about it, identifying it in its many forms, and working to root it out.
Statements of support are great, but these times demand action. Here's what Somerville Youth Soccer will be doing as an organization to actively combat racism:
1. Consulting anti-racism experts and best practices to ensure that our policies properly reflect our organization's anti-racism values and goals.
2. Reaching out to our membership -- both current and former -- about their experiences with racism in soccer to determine the scope of the problem and where racism is most prevalent.
3. Bringing our grievances over racial issues involving other towns and travel referees to our travel league (Middlesex Youth Soccer League) to demand action at the league and town level.
4. Giving our directors, coaches, players, and families an anti-racism toolkit, so they know how to respond and feel empowered to respond when encountering racism.
5. Gathering and annually publishing demographic data on our organization, including our board of directors, coaches, and players, in order to quantify and statistically track inclusivity and representation.
We will continue to search for and identify additional ways to fight racism and we welcome your thoughts and suggestions.
Somerville Youth Soccer