A Message from Bonnie Brae Leadership: Striving for Justice and Equality for All
Bonnie Brae Community,
The past several weeks have been very troubling. The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor layered on top of the pandemic have exacerbated the deep prevalence of blatant, institutional, and systemic racism. These injustices and inequalities permeate the lives of our black staff, youth and their families, friends and colleagues.
At Bonnie Brae we condemn racism in all its forms. This torment that has been inflicted on the black community for centuries has been harmful to children, youth, and families. Cycles of multi-generational trauma and poverty have been reinforced by an unacceptable lack of health, safety, education, and other resources for far too long.
We see the effects of this trauma every day in our work with youth and families. Many of the young men we serve live through experiences that we cannot even begin comprehend or understand. These anxieties elicit fear, anger, frustration, and often a sense of helplessness. While the work we do with them is transformational, it cannot overcome the systemic and widespread racial inequities many will face when they leave the safety of our community.
While it should have not taken these events to create a groundswell of attention and affinity—there is now an opportunity for growth. At Bonnie Brae we ask our youth every day to commit themselves and work towards positive growth and change. Today we affirm, as an agency, our commitment to further advance racial equity in all of our work, both as an employer, and to the youth and families we serve every day. We commit to listening, learning, educating and continuously improving.
For more than 100 years, Bonnie Brae has provided help and hope to some of the most vulnerable young men from across the state of New Jersey. We are proud to stand with them, their families, and each other in striving for justice and equality for all.
Paul D. Rieger, MSW, Chief Executive OfficerRobert Courtemanche, President, Board of Trustees