A Letter from Youth Radio’s Executive Director: Standing Up In Dark Times


Dear Friends,

I came to Youth Radio with the clear understanding that I was joining the fight for good, and the knowledge that in dark times I would have to stand in the spotlight, speak and be heard. I also came as a steward of opportunity for others to do the same.

If you’re wondering where to put your thoughts and feelings about standing up against racism, hate and violence, include Youth Radio. Sing out against intolerance, inequity and indecency by joining the conversations on our social media feeds (FacebookTwitter) and website.

The young journalists and artists at Youth Radio are truth tellers. They are courageous. They are fierce. They are hopeful. And I’m honored to partner with them in service to uplifting diverse perspectives for positive societal change. A mission that continues to expand as we build our national network.

See them in The New York Times Race/Related newsletter again soon, describing how race and class play into their pursuits for summer work. Despite challenges inherent in navigating a system built to bind and break them, the young people you will read about remain resilient and resistant. Listen, and let the youth lead – you’ll be surprised by what you can learn from them.

May we all aspire to be more like them in our efforts to prevent more unnecessary loss of life as they stand up for unity and equality, from Charlottesville, VA to Oakland, CA.

In these times, I am centered by the words of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz: “When ‘i’ is replaced with ‘we,’ even illness becomes wellness.”

We can only work towards a healthy America together.

Jabari Gray
Executive Director

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