Cornelius Frederick, a 16-year-old Black child, lost his life after being restrained at Lakeside Academy in Kalamazoo, which is operated by a for-profit entity called Sequel Youth and Family Services. We are horrified by this tragedy and mourn for the loss of a member of our community.

Kalamazoo County and the Kalamazoo Community Foundation have significant work to do and our commitment to racial equity and transforming systems is even more urgent to ensure kids like Cornelius will not be robbed of the opportunity to live a positive, self-determined life. We need to center our work with community voices, especially those most impacted, and find solutions that keep families together instead of tearing them apart.

Cornelius' death is a tragic result of an unjust system. We all need to do better, and it begins with educating ourselves. Please take a look at the resources below to learn more: