Listening and Learning

We’ve been having some challenging conversations lately. Specifically how the name of our initiative, Berks Teens Matter, is insensitive to the Black Lives Matter movement. Because of the similarity of names, we recognize we may have been unconsciously riding in the wake of Black Lives Matter. And we recognize it is not our right to do so.

While it was never our intent to disrespect the efforts of Black Lives Matter or detract from its
message, we acknowledge that intent does not equal impact. We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and its message. A message to end racism and white supremacy. A message for all of us to do better.

If our name minimizes Black Lives Matter in any way, if one voice tells us it’s insensitive, tone
deaf, or inappropriate, then we have a responsibility to listen, reflect and act. After careful consideration and discussion, we have decided to start the process of renaming our initiative.

In an effort to do better, we commit to having the difficult conversations. We’re inviting all voices into these conversations, as we move forward to identify a name that reflects who we are and all in our community.

The purpose of our initiative is to promote positive adolescent sexual health in Berks County. This initiative is rooted in the foundations of healthy relationship skills, good communication, trust, and respect for one another.

It is those founding values and core beliefs that help to move us forward as we begin this re-naming process.

– Berks Teens Matter, an initiative of Co-County Wellness Services

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