YWCA of Asheville stands strong in our mission to eliminate racism and empower women, and in our advocacy work to ensure the health and safety of women and girls. We are shocked and appalled at the violence that was enacted against a child last week at the Asheville Mall, and we are equally appalled at the rhetoric that has been expressed in recent community dialogue that is meant to justify this violence against children of color. We recognize that the criminalization and dehumanization of youth of color is often used to justify violence against them, and that violence against youth of color exists on a continuum that includes the assault on children like Rockell Baldwin in Winston Salem and the murders of children like Tamir Rice. Enacting violence against children is never acceptable, and never justified, no matter the context or circumstance. As we approach the celebration of the life of Dr. King, we hope that the Asheville community can work together to better abide by his legacy of love, justice, and nonviolence.