Over the past few months, we as a nation, community and organization have faced many challenges, disappointments, and setbacks. Specifically, the killing of George Floyd has resurrected the fact that blacks continue to experience inequalities in our country. His death also prompts conversation, reflection and, most importantly, response about how best to support change through our mission and actions.
Junior Achievement of North Florida has been in Jacksonville since 1963, and it is our mission to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. We are reflecting on our values, beliefs, and mission to ensure that our programs continue to help prepare all students to be successful. We are committed to helping all students overcome economic discrimination and the effects of universal prejudice. We will continue to work with our national office, school districts, businesses, and other community organizations to assist with this endeavor.
In 2002 we made a concerted effort to provide programs to Jacksonville’s minority communities using traditional JA workforce readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship training programs. We now have the capacity to move further and create programs and initiatives that specifically meet the needs of black students by creating access to financial resources, exposure to minority-owned businesses and mentors, and financial literacy education to ensure they have the tools to own their economic success.
At Junior Achievement of North Florida, we do not condone racism. We can do more. We are responding by acting within our own organization to discourage discrimination and racism. As a staff, we will attend trainings, classes, and/or programs that will help reinforce our commitment to racial justice. We will also join and partner with other community organizations, schools, businesses, parent groups, student groups, and all concerned citizens to work together to confront and dismantle racism. We will share these best practices not only with our staff but with our Board of Directors, volunteers and partners so they can be best equipped to empower youth without bias.
Racism is a deeply-rooted problem that has existed for generations and it will not change until we all come together to take action against social injustice. The time to act is now to help all people of color have the social and economic power to thrive.
If you have any thoughts, concerns, or suggestions we welcome your feedback. Please feel free to contact me at any time by phone or e-mail
. Thank you for your consistent support. I am honored and grateful to partner with you.
With much appreciation,
Steve St. Amand
Junior Achievement of North Florida