As we feel the anguish of truth in the above statement for change, we reflect on just how painful racial injustice is and how those injustices have been compounded by the disproportionate physical, mental, and financial suffering caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent report by SAVI (Polis Center at IUPUI), residents of Marion County have tested positive for COVID-19 at a rate nearly twice that of white residents, similar to other cities across the country. According to the Indiana State Department of Health, as of May 5, 1,763 residents with confirmed COVID-19 cases were , and 1,979 were white. This means that for every 100,000 residents, there are 646 confirmed cases compared to 345 per 100,000 white residents.”
The Surgeon General, Jerome Adams, stated that people of color are not “biologically or genetically predisposed to get COVID-19,” but they are “socially predisposed to coronavirus exposure.” Historic and systemic inequities in our society put many individuals at higher risk of being exposed to the virus, having a severe case, and suffering from economic impacts compared to white residents. The current health Pandemic, coupled with civil unrest engrossed squarely upon many of the families in this targeted communal leaves the casual observer wondering how in the world they survive.
Indy Youth Sports (IYS) would like to focus our discussion on the need for awareness and collaborative support to address an often-neglected class. IYS has a mission: To utilize athletics as a tool to engage youth and families, emphasize the importance of education, healthy lifestyles, and instill core values that will guide them through life. Through positive collaborations with outstanding organizations such as USA Football, Indianapolis Colts, Indianapolis Public Schools, Indianapolis Parks & Recreation, Indianapolis PAL League, Tabernacle Presbyterian Church Recreation Department, and Municipal Gardens “Dads” Club, IYS has been able to provide indoor and outdoor sporting activities for over 1800 youth annually between the ages of 6-18 for the past ten years.
We want to ensure you know that we believe “All Youth Matter.” We are committed to providing our inner-city youth the same opportunities to participate and compete on a level playing field as all young people. When a community cares for their youth, they offer free testing for children between the ages of 12-17 like the City of Fishers. Knowing the impact Covid-19 has had on the Indianapolis community and the fact that we are still fighting the virus, we can’t just tell our youth to go back to school like before or you can play football and soccer just like you did last year. We must have the resources that other communities provide to make sure that our youth have what they need to just be a “child”. Where is the support structure, we point them to when asked? Where are we in our understanding of the problems and our willingness to be part of the solution? Where are we in our desire to solve or at least support the needs of our Youth?
Your understanding and support of their plight and our goals to help is the purpose of this article. To gain more information on Indy Youth Sports (IYS) and how you can help, please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.