Letter From The ED: Racial Justice

By June 5, 2020General

Dear Community,

This past week, we’ve seen the world rally around the Black Lives Matter movement and demand an end to systemic racism. We’ve shared their names: George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many more before them.

Like many of you, I’ve experienced a range of emotions from anger and sorrow to frustration and grief. As I researched and studied and learned, I was able to process my emotions and transition to new and powerful action feelings: focus, commitment, determination and hope.

We know that part of the problem stems from inequities in the food system, nutrition education and food access.

Empowering children and communities to take control of their health and wellbeing has been the guiding light of The Sylvia Center from the very beginning. It started in the kitchen where we introduced children to different foods and flavors, teaching them how to identify and prepare more nutritious foods and showing them how healthy minds and bodies help build healthy communities.

The communities we serve are often ones faced with food insecurity, a scarcity of healthy options and they lack support systems needed for change. COVID-19 has exacerbated these inequities all too clearly and it focuses our work in a profound way.

We are committed to food justice and to helping build healthy futures for the young people we teach. Every day we work to ensure that our students and their families have fair and equal access to fresh, healthy food and nutrition education.

The Sylvia Center is determined to become more actively anti-racist and to continue to live by this ethos. We will expand our programming to reach more youths and to help more communities become healthy and strong, which includes connecting our families to food access organizations across New York City and throughout Columbia County, New York.

We love our young learners and we will continue to show up for them in the work that we do as a social justice organization. I have hope that through our collective work, voices and actions we can build the equitable America we all want and deserve together.

Black lives matter and The Sylvia Center stands with those who are voicing this.

Yours in good health,

Jonathan Cetnarski
Executive Director, The Sylvia Center

Ways to Support Anti-Racism Work