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Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Iowa issues statement of support for Black communities

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) -- The Big Brothers Big Sisters organization of East Central Iowa has joined the call for justice and equity amid national protests following the death of George Floyd while in police custody.

There are 240 Big Brother Big Sisters agencies across the nation that served 135,000 children. In Cedar Rapids and East Central Iowa, more than 50% of the youth served are Black and Brown children, according to the agency.

President and CEO of the East Central Iowa chapter, Linda Henecke issued this statement, "America was founded in pursuit of Liberty and Justice for “All”. Big Brothers Big Sisters, with our mission to ignite the power and promise of all youth, fights daily to defend those freedoms. We find it impossible to stand by and watch the appalling acts of racism that threaten that promise."

It continues, "At Big Brothers Big Sisters, we live and breathe a significant part of the solution. The network of leaders and staff have a long history of bringing people from differing backgrounds and viewpoints together to serve our youth and their communities. We have become experts at leveraging the power of humanity to strengthen communities. Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies are uniting to take action. We will continue to defend potential by listening with humility. We will continue to ignite potential by taking an oath to be anti-racist and to not be silent. We will use our voices, resources, and actions to affirm that Black Lives Matter. I invite and highly encourage you to take this oath with us. Now is the time to make the promise to use your resources to dismantle racism and make sure it is not standing in the way of our Black youth and their families. What will you do to ensure the future holds Liberty and Justice for “All”

Click here to learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Cedar Rapids and East Central Iowa.

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Ashley Neighbor

Reporter, Cedar Rapids

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