A message to our community regarding racial injustice and Black Lives Matter

The ongoing events surrounding the murder of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, and many others before them have opened our eyes to the need for collective and urgent action.

We join many others in acknowledging the pain experienced by the Black community in the U.S., as well as the collective trauma felt by millions of others in similar situations around the world. We recognize the duty we have to speak up, understanding that as an organization that supports the Sustainable Development Goals, we must take action not just within our program, but outside as well. We condemn any type of discrimination, intolerance, or violence towards people because of their race, religion, gender identity, ethnicity, (dis)ability, sexual orientation, or social class. This goes against our collective mission to unite youth globally against society’s toughest challenges – because of this, UNLEASH commits to stand and work against racial injustice and inequality everywhere, with the acknowledgment that anti-blackness is especially important to address directly and urgently.

The appearance of solidarity has no use if it is fleeting. We do not have all the answers yet, but commit to working on a long-term plan to ensure we are proactive in our allyship. While UNLEASH already seeks to actively combat inequality and discrimination through our programming, including by offering full scholarships to low-income talents participants and enforcing a strong safeguarding policy, we can and must do more. We therefore take it upon ourselves to implement specific and tangible measures, including reviewing our internal operational processes to ensure they are anti-racist; adding anti-racism training, as well as bias and sensitivity modules, to our programs; and exploring the potential for organizing hackathons specifically focused on creating solutions for racism and other discrimination-related challenges in collaboration with organizations that are well-versed in and led by people affected by those challenges.

It is important for us to emphasize that we consider these measures to be only a first step and not an exhaustive list of actions. As an organization that has always tried to disrupt conventional thinking through diversity of thought, we would very much like to hear reflections and ideas from you to ensure that the actions we take are inclusive and reflective of the experiences you have had with UNLEASH.

In addition to reflections on how UNLEASH, as an organization, should do better, we hope to hear ideas on what UNLEASH, as a large global community, can do for the world. If there is anything you would like to share, please write us at [email protected]. Going forward, we hope for your involvement and support with the implementation of new ideas that will serve to make our program and community, as well as the world we live in, stronger, safer, and more supportive for all.

Sending kind thoughts and well wishes to all,