Staff Report

The brutal killing of George Floyd, at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, has catalyzed peaceful and violent protests throughout the country. Black lives have been and continue to be threatened by police forces nationally, thanks to a society characterized by systemic racism that allows and even condones such behavior.

Being black should not mean being subject to the pervasive violence of racism from which our country was born. No longer can we dismiss or minimize the experiences of interpersonal and pervasive discrimination or ignore our individual biases.  INCLUSION SYV stands with and is in solidarity with the black community whose pain and anguish has led to mobilization and action to demand change and a just and anti-racist future.

INCLUSION SYV’s beginnings in 2017 were a response to the increase in hate crimes, racial slurs and discrimination of all forms. This was occurring around the nation and locally in schools, the work place, the super market and on the street, where racial epithets were directed towards people of color. Our purpose was and is to address racism in our schools and in our community. This is inseparable from the oppression and malignancy that killed George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and so many others. We can no longer sit idle and continue to benefit from the oppression of black people. We must reckon with our country’s history and look within ourselves, our work spaces, classrooms, businesses, and families to dismantle anti-blackness, anti-people of color, and anti-immigrant attitudes. Not only is unpacking racism in our educational, legal, and social institutions a collective, ongoing necessity, it is a matter of life or death. Now is the time to hold decision-makers and individuals in position of power accountable to change discriminatory practices and behaviors. People in the Santa Ynez Valley and greater Santa Barbara County cannot remain silent!

INCLUSION SYV operates under the administrative umbrella of People Helping People, an IRS certified 501 (c) (3) public benefit corporation. The vision of INCLUSION is to build a safe, respectful, equitable, and inclusive community.

To receive more information about INCLUSION, visit or e-mail us at You can also search the Star’s website for past articles submitted from voices of Santa Ynez Valley residents regarding Inclusion SYV.