Optimist International is a global not for profit organization committed to youth development.
Our Mission speaks to our core ethos that by providing hope and positive vision, Optimists bring out the best in youth, our communities and ourselves.
It is this very Mission which we have embraced over our 100-year history, that compels us to lend our voice to the global discussion on racism and discrimination in our communities and collectively work towards solutions that would be consistent with our objective to promote patriotism and work for international accord and friendship among all people in all countries of the world irrespective of race, creed, or religion.
Optimist International recognizes the dangerous impact that racism and discrimination has on the lives of young people, especially black males.
Optimists serve youth on four continents, in communities with a variety of races, creeds and socioeconomic backgrounds. Optimist members have different ways of speaking, voting and worshipping, yet are united in our desire to bring out the best in children. This puts us in a unique position to listen and to understand a variety of perspectives, that will help to inform us on specific actions that we must take.
We will start with our own culture with initiatives such as diversity and inclusion training for our staff and volunteer leaders. We are committed to increasing diversity within our organization leadership.
Like many other organizations, Optimist International recognizes that as painful conversations have taken place across the United States and other countries the world over the past few weeks, we recognize that we can do more. We should do more. We must do more. We cannot bring out the best in children unless we build a world free of barriers and hate.
We encourage our Clubs to start dialogues within their own clubs and their communities about how they can help achieve a more just and equitable world. We also encourage our Members to share their thoughts as to how we can improve. Together, we can turn hope and positive vision into reality.