Dear National YMCA

#unitecloud
Natalie Ringsmuth, Founder and Director
PO Box 851
St Cloud, MN 56302

November 28th, 2018

YMCA of the USA
Kevin Washington, CEO
101 North Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606

Dear Mr. Washington and other YMCA leadership,

A couple of weeks ago, an incident took place at our local St. Cloud YMCA that shook our community and has left many of our neighbors feeling unsafe. If you are not aware of the incident, here is an article about it: http://time.com/5458173/deer-carcasses-cars-somali-americans/. This is one of hundreds of articles you can find about this incident, as it has made world-wide news.

We have heard from many Y members that they feel unable to return to the facility due to fear of what may happen. There has been no public statement made and we do not know if the father and son who committed this act are still welcome to come to the facility. We reached out to the YMCA to request a meeting – the response given to us was that they could not meet until mid-December, nearly a month after the incident.

Our community is in a holding pattern, unable to begin to heal from this incident. We need to hear a strong statement from the YMCA that this type of act will not be tolerated. Since we have not heard that from our local YMCA, we are calling on you to do so.

Our local YMCA is one of the only non-governmental organizations that is culturally integrated in our area and we would like it to stay that way. In order for this to happen, our whole community must feel safe and welcome there.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and we look forward to your swift action.

 

About the Author

Natalie Ringsmuth

Facebook

Natalie grew up in Central Minnesota and received her Music Education degree from Concordia College in Moorhead. She taught middle school choir in Georgia and worked in the church sector for over a decade. She now works as a legal assistant at Tripiciano Immigration Law, a trainer with the CARE (Community Anti-Racism Education) Team at SCSU (St Cloud State University), and as Founder and Director of #unitecloud, a non-profit working to reduce racial, religious, and cultural tensions in Central MN. She is a member of the Community Impact Team at United Way of Central MN and is a member of the St Cloud District 742 school board. In her spare time (haha) she loves to spend time with her husband and 3 children.