A Message from the Roundtable of St. Lucie County in Solidarity

The Roundtable of St. Lucie County, composed of elected officials, law enforcement agency leadership, the heads of numerous agencies that affect policies and funding, and our respected community leaders and partners, have been working together for over 25 years to identify and implement research-based, comprehensive solutions to achieve and sustain long-term success for youth and their families. Always at the heart of our efforts is a commitment to identify and eradicate implicit bias and systemic racism in our society, in particular, the criminal justice system. Today, we renew that commitment and our belief that ALL children are capable of success - NO EXCEPTIONS. Because of our structure and commitment, we believe we are well-positioned to effectuate real, lasting change.


The Roundtable of St. Lucie County and its individual member agencies condemn not just those directly responsible for the recent deaths of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others who have been killed unjustly, but also those who have perpetuated a system of racial injustice and systemic inequality for black people and other people of color in our community and nation.  We stand for peaceful protesting as an effective tool of our democracy.    Our nation was founded on the premise of equality for all, but all too often our justice system and other critical systems like education, health care, employment and housing fail to even approximate this sentiment. 


Through our collective efforts, the Roundtable champions to improve conditions, standards, structures, systems and policies affecting our youth. We work alongside the law enforcement and judicial branches to bring about positive change for our youth, and reduce incarceration, violence and gang activity.  We do this through programs such as “Kids at Hope”, Ignite Youth Alliance and “Youth Dialogue”, which open up relationships, improve communication and foster lasting involvement between our youth and law enforcement community. At the same time, we and our partners foster positive outcomes for youth by increasing protection and reducing risk through improved access to education, healthcare, mentoring, and disparities in infant mortality, mental health and wellness, and juvenile justice.


We have seen firsthand the disproportionate numbers of black youth involved in the criminal justice system at an early age who go on to lead lives of hopelessness and despair. We recognize that in a civilized society, law enforcement plays a critical and valuable role to ensure safety and prosperity.  For the long-term success of youth and their families in our community, we recognize that racism and bias need to be identified and eliminated wherever they exist.


We stand in pain and sadness, but also in solidarity with those who commit to changing our society for the better, striving for the promise of equality. Together, we commit to continuing our efforts to examine policies, practices, and systems to affect change that promotes equality and equity for all.

Our children today face so many obstacles. The Roundtable of St. Lucie County is the only entity that brings together executive level community leaders – from the school system, law enforcement, government, social service agencies and more – to address these obstacles and make a real, lasting difference in the lives of St. Lucie County children. Established in 1995, the Roundtable is committed to addressing key risk factors that lead to delinquency, crime and other problem behaviors in children, and strengthening assets to implement initiatives that support children’s success. The Roundtable operates through “Networks” (or subcommittees) that research specific problem areas and identify best practice solutions. Roundtable members collaborate to assess, plan and implement evidence-based and data-driven strategies intended to improve outcomes for youth. 

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