Mourning Tyre Nichols and Calling for Change

We honor the life of Tyre Nichols, a son and father brutally murdered by police. Tyre Nichols joins far, far too many others whose lives have been taken by a system that preys on Black communities. Charges against the officers are not enough – the system itself must be dismantled.

No group or person who works with Black youth should disregard the toll this atmosphere of fear and violence takes. It impacts all of our work, because it impacts the young people we work with.  We cannot separate this trauma from the work we are trying to do with young people. We must, as advocates for youth health and rights, work for an end to police violence. Our young people certainly deserve opportunity, education, and fulfillment.  And at a bare minimum they deserve safety in their communities and safety from those sworn to protect them.

Young Black people face more and more threats to their health and well-being: and government systems seem intent on harming them further rather than providing the support they need.  It’s a moral imperative for policymakers, organizations, and individual people to ensure young people are safe in their communities. Divesting from a police state and investing in programs that support young people is a starting point for that work. 

The systems that put Black lives at risk must be abolished. Young people have the right to lead healthy lives, and that includes living free of the fear of being killed by police. It’s our job, our duty, and our moral obligation to speak out against injustice wherever we see it – and none of us can rest until young people are safe.