Statement from UNICEF USA President and CEO Michael J. Nyenhuis

June 2, 2020

NEW YORK (June 2, 2020) – At this time of unrest, UNICEF USA reaffirms its commitment to racial justice, calls for an end to practices that marginalize people of color and stands with all those working for an equitable, just world.

We are deeply concerned about the profound impact on children of color whose families already know the effects of institutional bias, feel the disproportionate weight of the COVID-19 pandemic and now — once again — see unjust violence against people who look like them. These compounding experiences risk shaping the way children see themselves, the world and their place in it far into the future.

UNICEF has responded to the world's toughest conflicts and we've seen firsthand how discrimination, xenophobia, violence and racism cause deep trauma, disrupt communities and leave lasting scars for children and families.  We know that every child, from Minneapolis to Maputo, is entitled to the same rights. They have the right to health, equality and education. The right to be free from discrimination, the right to be protected from violence and the right to express their views.

UNICEF USA supports and applauds the peaceful activism of young people, and we will continue to scale our work with local government leaders to give them a seat at the table and work to infuse equity in their policies. We won’t stop until the voices of young people of color are heard and listened to, and all children have equal chances at success. Black Lives Matter. The lives and futures of black and brown children need to matter to all of us. 


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The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to put children first. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, safe water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. UNICEF USA supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when no children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit