Dear young people - Camp Fire and NIEA logo

Dear young people,

We know things are tough right now. We recognize that many of you are scared. With legislation across the country attempting to control what you can read, the art you’re allowed to see and create, what sports and clubs you’re able to participate in, and even what healthcare you and your families can access legally or safely, it can feel like everyone is against you. We’re here to say we see you, you are incredibly important, and we care about you.

2SLGBTQ+ youth in states across the country who are facing attacks by lawmakers, we see you and believe you when you tell us who you are. We support your ability and right to discover yourself, find community, and thrive. Even as the Supreme Court decides to allow businesses to refuse 2SLGBTQ+ people service if it does not align with their faith, we promise to never use faith as a barrier to deny you access to our services, resources, and support. We support and affirm youth and adults of all religions and non-religion.

To Black, Brown, and Indigenous youth who see their histories and stories being silenced and erased, we hear you and will continue to stand with you and hold space for you to lift your voices. We will be here to encourage and empower you to seek higher education even as the Supreme Court denies the value of your lived experiences and the historical exploitation, exclusion, and erasure of Black and Brown people within higher education institutions by removing affirmative action.

Camp Fire and the National Indian Education Association are committed to listening to and learning from you. We are committed to educating ourselves and our colleagues about what you need from adults in today’s world to feel safe to be yourself and to thrive. We are committed to showing up for you in our afterschool programs, our day and overnight camps, in your communities, and across the country. We will use our individual and collective power as organizations to fight for your rights as young people. This includes showing up to your rallies, contacting our legislators, sharing our power and platforms with you, and supporting bills like Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act of 2023 and Oklahoma SB429.  

Please know that there are not just adults in the world who care about you, there are entire organizations that are dedicated to connecting you with yourself, with others, and with your communities.

July 7, 2023

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