During our recent Owensboro Business Hall of Fame event, two Junior Achievement students of color who were in attendance overheard racially derogatory remarks made by two members of the public attending the event. These comments, as reported by the students, were hurtful, offensive, unacceptable, and do not align with the values or mission of Junior Achievement of West Kentucky, and we strongly condemn them. We have sincerely apologized to the students and their families that this occurred at our event. We do not know who made these remarks, but we do not tolerate this kind of behavior at our organization or events.
It is deeply saddening that remarks such as this still occur, and occurred in our community that we love and want to see prosper. Diversity must be welcomed and embraced as we learn to stand as one and we celebrate our differences. So on behalf of our board, staff and volunteers, let me provide further clarity about who Junior Achievement is and what we believe in.
At Junior Achievement of West Kentucky, who we are is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a positive, enriching learning experience free of bias that promotes greater economic opportunity and equity. We welcome K-12 students, volunteers, educators, staff, and other partners and stakeholders, regardless of race, religion, age, gender, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or other characteristics.
These are not just words to us. In Owensboro/Daviess County and every community here in West Kentucky, we seek to serve whole grade levels with our programs focused on work-readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. In this way we are one of the most inclusive organizations because we strive to serve every student.
After the pandemic, JA is reaching more students than ever before, thanks to our strategic partnerships with local and regional school systems and our great and faithful corporate supporters. Here in Owensboro and Daviess County from the time students enter kindergarten to graduation from high school, they will experience six-eight distinct JA programs.
Our commitment to expanding opportunity for every student is real and demonstrated through our actions. We are dedicated to creating permanent and lasting change for the better through our mission, partners, and actions. For more information, please visit westky.ja.org.
Dan Douglas, President of JA
on behalf of himself and the JA board of directors