June 09, 2020

Our Values, Our Stance

A message from our Executive Director, Thomas Lee.

Like many, we have had a heavy heart in the wake of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery's killings. Friends of the Children–Los Angeles (Friends–L.A.) recognizes them and the countless of other Black men and women who have died as a result of police brutality, anti-Black racism and gross negligence where Black lives are considered. We stand with our Los Angeles community and families against police violence, systemic racism and injustice. The global protests are a tipping point, and we strongly encourage solid actions by our government to rectify the historic and present injustices against members in our Black community.

COVID-19 reminded us all of two things: we are all interconnected, and rapid change is possible. Faced with a health crisis, we saw individual behaviors, communities and immense systems change within weeks. George Floyd’s killing and the response around the world are showing us that a broad-based coalition for change is necessary and achievable. We, as human beings, can no longer tolerate this kind of injury to our humanity. We have the power to accelerate racial equity work, just as we accelerated our response to COVID-19, with the long view on prevention and the deep understanding of systems that produce cumulative race-based harm to peace, justice and freedom. We are in a critical moment in our history. All things are possible - particularly in a state full of dreamers, innovators and leaders.

Friends–L.A., as all of the Friends of the Children chapters, is grounded by several core values: Building Relationships on Love, Demand Equity and Putting Children First. We vow to always put children first – including protecting them from racial injustice. We will continue to demand equity for our children, their siblings, their families and their communities as we empower them to build a better world. We promise to continue to do our part by Building Relationships on Love and by loving every youth we serve in our efforts to create the conditions for social change – no matter what.

Recommended Reading:

  • Rise of the Warrior Cop: Militarization of America's Police by Radley Balko
  • Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
  • Stamped by Ibram X. Kendi
  • The Fire This Time edited by Jesmyn Ward
  • The Darkest Child by Delores Phillips
  • Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Social Justice by Paul Kivel
  • What Keeps Me Standing: Letters from Black Grandmothers on Peace, Hope, and Inspiration by Dennis Kimbro

Action Toolkits and Other Resources

ACLU Know Your Rights Toolkits

Amnesty International Toolkits

Black Lives Matter Toolkits

Poor Peoples' Campaign

Campaign Zero / 8 Can't Wait

Funders for Justice

Black Youth Project (BYP) 100

Critical Resistance

National Lawyers' Guild

Color of Change

In memory of George Perry Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery,

Thomas Lee, Executive Director