On Remembrance, Resilience and Resetting

Dear Friends of PCYC,

Honoring a Dear Friend

One of my first memories as executive director of PCYC in 1999 was having lunch with then Board President Mark Hegman.  His commitment to our mission in North Minneapolis was so apparent, and his strong support and belief in me to effectively lead the organization into the future buoyed my spirits and confidence as nothing else could. 

Mark passed away on September 29, 2020.  I pay tribute to him for his friendship and his generous gifts of time, talent and treasures to PCYC.  He made a real difference in the lives of young people through his work with us, and was such a positive influence on the board and staff and all who knew him. 

I Am Retiring

Anne Long

The PCYC Board’s Executive Committee and I have been planning the next phase of leadership of PCYC for several years, and now is the time to make that move.  I’ve had the honor to serve PCYC for 47 years, with over two decades as Executive Director. I thank all of you for the privilege of working in partnership to make our community ever better.  

I expect to be around into 2021 as we design new ways to deliver on our mission, and to welcome our new leader to the joy of serving North Minneapolis through the principles, programs, legacy and promise of Plymouth Christian Youth Center.  And I will join with all of you when we can finally gather together for the grand opening of the Capri.

And the Beat Goes On!

Despite the ups and downs we’ve experienced, especially in the last six months, PCYC’s mission of enriching the skills, prospects and spirit of North Minneapolis youth and adults is very much alive and vital in this community.

As we continue to move through these difficult times, we have several significant tasks to accomplish, including the work of self-reflection and action in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion.  Though we’ve been addressing the inequities faced by youth in North Minneapolis for 66 years, there is more we must do to eliminate racism and to ensure that all of our young people have the opportunity for a bright future.  We must also apply what we’re learning from the pandemic and the civil awakening in our land to our programs and agency structure. 

The board and leadership staff have taken several steps in this direction already.  At each board meeting we reflect and re-assess how well we represent and serve the youth and families of North Minneapolis who are most negatively affected by racism and inequities. We’ve added Juneteenth as a paid agency holiday.  And this month we’re conducting a staff engagement survey to gather perceptions of PCYC’s policies and practices that may create barriers and hinder equal opportunity for all.  We’ll use the results of that survey to inform equity, diversity and inclusion goals going forward. 

Today is, indeed, a time of reflection, resetting and reevaluating.  Answers are less apparent.  Progress is harder to measure.  We need to be more comfortable with being uncomfortable.  

As we seek better ways to achieve our mission, we’ll need the wisdom of all of you — our staff and board, our youth, and this community.  And of course, we will count on the leadership of whomever will become our new executive director.   

With best wishes for your own journey through 2020, and to the promise of a new and better world.

I’d love to hear from you.

Anne Little Long

PCYC Executive Director

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