Public Statement

3/18/2019 4:03pm

The Attic Youth Center was founded in 1993 in response to a growing need for a welcoming place that creates opportunities for LGBTQ youth.  Our mission is, and continues to be, to create opportunities for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth to develop into healthy, independent, civic-minded adults within a safe and supportive community, and promote the acceptance of LGBTQ youth in society.   More than 25 years later, over 10,000 LGBTQ youth and youth allies have walked through our doors and have found a place of acceptance.

Recently, we heard feedback from our Black and Brown employees and former employees about their experiences working at The Attic.  We immediately took action.

Our primary concern is the safety and wellbeing of the youth we serve.  As has been reported, we have retained a prominent law firm with local ties to conduct a thorough investigation of a serious incident, as well as any lapse in protocol, with the goal of having stronger processes in place to ensure everyone’s protection.

The Executive Director and Director of Programs have been placed on leave and are not performing any duties pending the investigation.

We have accomplished a lot of good for our community over the past 25 years, and we recognize we must change in order to grow as an organization. We will be engaging with an independent third- party to help assess our organizational structure to ensure equity among our staff. 

Our actions towards organizational change include the appointment of an Acting Executive Director, who will work collaboratively with staff, partners and others to develop inclusive and appropriate policies while keeping the Attic services open and accessible to the youth we serve. We will have an announcement on that shortly.

We want this to be a moment for the Attic to take an introspective look at the needs of the LGBTQ and black and brown workforce.  We need to do more to combat micro and macro aggressions.   As an organization, we need stronger, more accountable processes and procedures that ensure greater safety as well as greater equity.  We need to follow through on our learnings, create a heightened level of awareness and understanding, and continue to take action.  We want to be a place that does the work of anti-oppression, and to engage in the conversations toward that work. 

We hope you will also be a part of this work as we bring our mission to the next level.

We hope that our actions will serve as a model for other workplaces, as the lives of our staff and our youth fill spaces beyond ours.

To our current staff: Thank you for your continued hard work and dedication.  As Board members, we promise to support you.

To BBWC and former Attic Employees: We acknowledge and respect your voices and experiences, as well as your expertise.  We are committed to making change, and including our Black and Brown staff and young people in this process.

To our donors: We need your continued generosity. Our mission will not change, and we know the needs of our community continue to grow.

To our community and those with whom we work and have worked closely:  We thank you for continuing to open our eyes, hold us accountable and lifting your voice.  In doing so, you are helping make us all better in service of our youth.

And most of all, to the youth who are counting on us:   We are here for you, as we have always been, and we can guarantee the Attic you depend on will do everything in its power to show up in the most safe and supportive way

This work will not be easy, but it will be worth it.

- The Attic Board of Directors