Response to U.S. Capitol Building Riots

To the YPFP Community –  

We had hoped to begin the new year by sending well wishes to our members around the world tonight, hopeful you had a restful and healthy holiday season. Instead, once again, we are saddened by the circumstances under which we feel the need to write to you, condemning  the horrific scenes of riots and terror at the U.S. Capitol Building. We are feeling disgusted, drained, saddened, and angry; feelings which we know are shared by many of you. As difficult as it might be, we must continue to show up for each other and our communities, to do what is just and equitable for all. 

For those of us working in careers, both domestic and international, centered on the tenets on security, peace, democracy, and collaboration, today is a particularly difficult moment. We are witnessing the consequences of a historic failure to protect many of the institutions that are critical to democracy. 

While none of us knows what the coming days and weeks will bring, we are hopeful for a peaceful transition of power in the United States. If it does, we should not forget the precariousness of this moment and the gravity of the warning it holds. As many public figures have stated, democratic institutions are stable, but vulnerable. It is YPFP’s mission to build the leaders tomorrow needs.  Tomorrow requires leaders who protect and defend democratic  institutions, who do not perpetuate lies to the public, and who govern inclusively. May we all be leaders who cherish the values that are sacred to us, as professionals and as humans. The call to public service and international affairs is different for everyone, and we all have our own reasons for joining YPFP, but we believe that we all share this commitment. That makes us hopeful for the future, but it also lends to our work an urgency and intensity. We hope you feel it too.

YPFP absolutely condemns white supremacy, fascism, and far-right extremism. There is no room for that ideology or behavior in our organization. 

We are so grateful to be on this team; a team composed of passionate professionals who are fierce advocates for democracy and liberty in all corners of the world. You are all in our thoughts. Please know that we are here to support you today and every day as we work towards our collective mission to ensure the next generation of leaders works to ensure this never happens again. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you are in need of support, or if you would just like to connect. Stay safe and healthy. Godspeed. 

Aubrey Cox-Ottenstein, Executive Director

Merritt Ogle, Chief of Staff