JCI Stands Together Against Racism
The deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, three Black United States citizens, in brutal attacks have sparked a groundswell of movement towards achieving civil liberties and equality, not just in America, but in many countries around the world. As more and more attention is brought to the ongoing reality of racism, JCI leaders will play an important part in fostering and sustaining the change we are seeing.
Our founding principles as an organization have been to build citizens of good character who promote the peaceful coexistence of humanity. This is espoused in the founding statement of the founder of our movement, Henry Giessenbier, who said:
“From within the walls and souls of this organisation, where in the foundation of good citizenship and character are laid, I hope that a statement will go out in the sometime of tomorrow that would stir this world towards a permanent and everlasting world peace.”
- The JCI Creed states that “the brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations,” calling us to treat each other with dignity, respect, and love, regardless of human-imposed divisions like boundaries or race.
- Additionally, the line “that government should be of laws rather than of men” reminds us that no one is above the law, and the law should be the same for all people.
- Finally, we are bound by the belief that “service to humanity is the best work of life.” This means we must do all we can to make a difference through policy, conversations, donations of effort and other channels.
As JCI members, we need to reflect upon this declaration of principles and ought to take action by speaking out against any forms of racism and injustice whenever we see it. We ought to come together to create sustainable solutions to these deep-rooted issues.
After all, JCI has long been involved in movements for peace and justice around the world.
- In 1954, JCI’s first international campaign, Operation Brotherhood, launched in collaboration with the United Nations to support refugees fleeing communism in Vietnam.
- JCI’s Peace is Possible campaign focused on mobilizing young people to take action and commit to creating a more peaceful world through forums, events and other projects.
- Our Step Up for Europe campaign advocated for equality and diversity and good treatment of migrants in all sectors of society, as well as social entrepreneurship.
The actions we take, today and moving forward, continue JCI’s legacy of standing up for human rights. Educating ourselves, our friends and our families is of the highest priority, so that we can fight against racism in our hearts, homes and communities. We encourage members to seek out local organizations and leaders involved in anti-racism work to see how you can contribute your time and skills.
Compassion is at the heart of every JCI leader, and we must lead by example so that future generations can inherit a world that is more just and equitable for all people. What will you do to build a better future as a JCI member, a Local Organization, a National Organization?