January 30, 2023

The following is a message from Ursulina Ramirez, Summer Search CEO.

Dear Summer Search Community,

My heart aches; that shortness of breath…

Tyre Nichols. A young Black man once again taken from this world too soon.

This, on the heels of an already tragic month with mass shootings impacting our AAPI and migrant communities in California.

I find myself drawn to videos of Tyre skateboarding and smiling, feeling the warmth of the sun on his face. The joy of a young man that had much more to give. A father who will not see his own young son grow into an adult. 

Tyre Nichols skateboarding

Photo: Tyre Nichols skateboarding, courtesy of his childhood friend, Austin Robert / YouTube.

The aggressive, violent, and abrupt nature of these losses is not new, but I urge you to refuse numbness. I invite you all to give yourselves the space to feel. Hold yourselves and your loved ones tight.

My thoughts and care are with our Summer Search community, especially our BIPOC participants, families, staff, and supporters. It can never be said enough, prioritize your own wellness. We are grateful for our entire community and the work you all do. It can only be done with you healthy and whole.

The systemic racism that exists within our institutions will not challenge or undo itself. It is built into the very design of the system. It will continue to bounce back like the elastic that it is until we collectively break it.

So today we mourn for Tyre. Tomorrow, we continue the fight for a more just world.

In closing, I'm finding comfort and resolve in many places, none more appropriate than words from Summer Search's own Stacey Thompson, our National Director of Learning & Development, as she shared during last year's Advancing Equity in Mental Health event:

"Right now our country is on fire and our nervous systems are stressed... Even though our system is challenged and taxed right now, we can all embody and hold safe spaces for the people around us. That is life-changing."

With care, 

Ursulina Ramirez

Chief Executive Officer, Summer Search

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