Reaffirming Our Commitment to Diversity and Social Inclusion

January 30, 2017

To YMCA friends and colleagues:

It is clear we have entered very challenging times — uncertainty, fear, and anger have spiked in recent weeks with events south of the border. And in Quebec City this weekend, six people were killed, and eight wounded, at a mosque while attending Sunday prayers. Our hearts and thoughts go out to the families and the community as they grieve this senseless loss.

We are a charity that has cared for newcomers to our city since its earliest days. Today, our participants, volunteers, and staff reflect the generations of immigrants who braved the journey to a new world with hope. I ask all of us to stand together and ensure that the YMCA programs and spaces we offer to the residents of the GTA continue to be places of warmth, inclusion, health, and peace. We must be vigilant and not allow ourselves to slip into the shadows that have been cast. At this time we need to find our courage to stand up to those who would fan the flames of intolerance and hatred in our diverse and vibrant region.

Our leaders are determined to sustain and promote our country and communities as places of refuge for those who are in search of peace and prosperity that is impossible for them to find in their homelands. We applaud their courage and support their efforts.

Medhat Mahdy
President & CEO
YMCA of Greater Toronto

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