Black Lives Matter

A Statement of Solidarity From Territory

Dear Territory community members and friends:

Black Lives Matter. The liberation and prospering of Black youth, and all of the intersecting identities of our youth team members- LGBTQIA+, Latinx, first generation, low-income, disabled, and more, is at the core of Territory’s work. In the face of horrific and traumatizing violence against young people, particularly in Black communities and particularly against Black youth, we re-commit to these values.

Youth bring truth, light, and justice to the world- and to their work at Territory.

In 2018 a group of our teens was invited to the Museum of Contemporary Art for a citywide teen summit to imagine a safer city for youth. At that event, rather than give youth a platform to connect with each other and adults, youth voice was effectively silenced when young people raised the issue of a proposed Police Academy to be located on the West Side of Chicago. In the following months, in the spirit of restorative justice, a small group of Territory teenagers organized themselves and some peers from other youth organizations to have a “do-over” event which took place at the Museum of Contemporary Art the following year. It was youth-organized, and included a youth-led peace-circle and conversation stations to discuss topics like “What is a safe space for teens?” This is the future that our youth deserve, the future they demand, the future they are creating. It is up to their adult allies to uplift, amplify, and support this journey towards justice.

We stand in solidarity with the Black communities, Black youth, and Black institutions we serve and who are our partners in this work. We are taking action to support the healing and mental health for all our teens who are bearing the burden of these past few weeks, and past several hundred years of institutional racism.

In Territory’s signature design process, one of the most important steps is called “Take a Stand.” This is us, taking a stand. We hope you will join us.