Outward Bound California is an organization that strives to cultivate leaders with integrity, moral courage, and above all, compassion. Therefore, with our values at the forefront, we are unable to stay silent on recent events. What transpired at the US Capitol building on Wednesday was unlawful, tragic, and despicable. While we value freedom of speech and the right to peaceful protest, this was not that and we wholly condemn the actions of this group of seditious rioters. We know that these events, like so many in recent times, are triggering for members of our community. They represent the different systems of justice in place in the United States based on race, and the role that power, privilege play in our government. We see the tireless efforts of Black people, and other people of color, to highlight those differences and to demand change. We also see our democracy threatened by the violent refusal of a group of White people, who have benefitted from a long history of oppression in this country, to accept cultural change that honors the dignity and worth of all people.
The Leadership Team of OBCA has experienced anger, sadness, outrage, fear, disgust, and shame, and imagine that you, our supporters, staff, and alumni are also holding a variety of emotions. If we can support you in any way, please don’t hesitate to reach out. It is the collective resilience of this community and those who believe in the power of our democracy that continues to bring us hope.
We continue to work toward being an active ally to those demanding change that honors and dignifies all people. As we work to exemplify the values of Outward Bound and serve a diverse and bi-partisan student community, we stand alongside the following message from Josh Brankman, Executive Director of Outward Bound USA.
Dear Outward Bound Community,
With the rest of our country and the world, we watched yesterday as shocking events unfolded at the nation’s Capitol, as a group of rioters violently disrupted what was meant to be the first steps in a peaceful transfer of power for our democracy. Yesterday’s events were disturbing, unprecedented and criminal, and must be condemned in the strongest terms. We do that here and now.
The violence, destruction and treasonous behavior we witnessed yesterday in Washington, D.C. was an attack on American democracy and our founding ideals. While the United States is an imperfect union, it is one, at our best, that can inspire hope for all of us. I am heartened by those who stood up, pushed back, and defended the Capitol as well as those members of Congress who, after it was safe to do so, returned to their work at hand, their constitutional duty, to certify the 2020 presidential election.
We, at Outward Bound USA, are an organization that for more than fifty years has prepared young people to live lives of integrity, service and courage. Courage to confront what is wrong, integrity to act with respect and self-discipline and the sense of service that compels us to positive action. While our country took a step backwards yesterday, we are emboldened by our own mission, core values and commitment to support young people in becoming leaders for uplifting change in their communities. And, we must deepen our work.
As an educational organization committed to the families and communities that we work with, and an organization that strives for improvement every day, we stand with you to hasten our work with young people, educators and our communities to build a society committed to compassion, integrity and equity, in order to get closer every day to that more perfect union. There is much work to be done.
Outward Bound USA