Black lives matter. YPFP unequivocally condemns systemic racism and police brutality, in the United States and around the world.

From Minneapolis to Hong Kong, Cairo to Moscow, young people are on the frontlines of protests, fighting generational injustice and demanding a better tomorrow. These young people have been subjected to escalating violence at the hands of the very governments entrusted with their protection. Their voices must be heard. To those peacefully demonstrating, we stand in solidarity with you.

Our mission is to amplify the voices of young leaders across the globe; we are uniquely positioned to state unequivocally that racism and state-sponsored violence are not specific to the United States. Rather, these are global wounds. YPFP affirms the importance of respecting human rights and condemning racism as the bedrock principles on which our society ought to be built.

Diversity and inclusion has always been a stated priority of YPFP, but it has rarely been our explicit practice. Like many foreign policy organizations, people of color are underrepresented in YPFP. Have we made our community welcoming to all people? Have we done enough to combat unconscious bias or interrogate our own privilege? Recent events have revealed we have not. Today, we resolve to tackle these questions with urgency and renewed commitment.

YPFP must prioritize diversity and inclusion, and we are forming a Commission to lead this discussion and forge a path forward. We recognize the need for a broad conversation with our members; accordingly, we will solicit member input on the shape that conversation takes in the days ahead. Meanwhile, Volunteer Staff in the group are focused on hiring, recruiting, and programming. Please reach out to Tyler Cundiff, our Chief of Staff, to share your ideas and interest. Additionally, we are forming a Diversity & Inclusion Discussion Group, which we invite you to join. You can find additional resources here.

Above all, we are most concerned with the safety and wellbeing of Black people in our own community. We resolve to listen to them with the empathy and compassion they deserve, and to support them in their struggle for justice. YPFP extends our deepest sympathies to the families, friends, and communities of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless others whose lives have been irreparably broken by an unjust system.

In solidarity,

Aubrey Cox Ottenstein, Executive Director, on behalf of Young Professionals in Foreign Policy (YPFP)

Tyler Cundiff, Chief of Staff, on behalf of the YPFP Staff

Joshua Marcuse, Founder & Chairman, on behalf of the YPFP Board of Directors