Dear friends and community,
Our mission as an organization has always centered the power young people have when provided with education and resources to make healthy decisions and plan their futures. We recognize the systemic inequities which are plaguing our black, indigenous, and people of color communities. For all of American history systems have been setup which disenfranchise, abuse, and neglect these communities. These are not past traumas. There is no region immune to these inequities; they are persistent, pervasive, and oppressive.
Amplify and our youth health collective which includes community partners, healthcare providers, and youth leaders acknowledge the pain and injustice of systemic racism and white supremacy. We stand as allies with our Black community and with all people of color, and pledge our active participation in anti-racism efforts within our organization and in our spheres of influence.
Equity is not just critical in our work, it is integral. We cannot promote holistic sexual health education without recognizing and addressing systemic inequities, historic traumas, and the abusive society we are expecting young people to thrive in. It is the work of our entire collective to make space for this work, these conversations, and to create stronger systems which build up the unique powers in all young people.
We work to uphold these values and principles championed by Dr. Michael Carrera and our OKC partner Thrive:
• Young people are priceless – they are not disposable, and they have no expiration date.
• Young people must see their worth in our eyes.
• The most powerful practitioner tool is caring.
• We share the belief that we are stronger together.
• We are grounded in equity framework and understand the needs of all young people are not the same.
• We are committed to an inclusive and judgement-free approach to adolescent health.
• We listen to and respect the voices of the community.
As a youth health collective, we develop strategic and innovative programming to advance youth health outcomes in our community. The health disparities afflicting our black and brown communities are clear and significant, including higher teen birth and STI rates than their white peers. We recognize this is not due to a difference in behavior, but rather a lack of resources, education, and investment in program equity. While our work is focused on youth sexual health measures, health disparities for communities of color exist across most of our state and nation’s health outcomes.
Simply recognizing these inequities and health disparities is not enough. It is time for an intentional and collaborative push from our community to address the barriers and underlying causes which ultimately harm and stigmatize our communities of color.
Amplify is committing to addressing these systemic inequities in our field and workplace by:
1. Amplify will contract with an expert in the field of diversity, inclusion, and equity to
- lead a training for our staff and coalition of partners
- assess the current programs, functions, and structure of Amplify and Tulsa Health and Education (THE) Coalition to develop a structural framework and a strategic plan for incorporating equity framework and education into all we do
2. Amplify will prioritize cultivating current and developing new collaborative partnerships with organizations and communities doing the work of racial equity and justice. We seek these partnerships to address the inequities in youth sexual health work together and intentionally.
3. Amplify understands this is not a one-time solution and commits to developing a systemic framework for equity in our organization and programs. We will continue these discussions as we begin our strategic planning process and update the community on our progress.
We ask our community of support to join us as we commit and work towards positive change and healing. Young people are powerful; they are the present and our future. Young people of color deserve to live in a world which supports them and believes in their power. We know this is just a start, but our team and collective are committed to addressing racism, inequity, and injustice. We are learning and listening to our black community and people of color. We invite you to join us on this mission.
In solidarity and introspection,
The Amplify Team