“Racially Charged Attacks” cited in YMCA resignation letter

YMCA CEO Kirk Smith is seen here talking about the Dunbar Community Center during a July 2014 interview with 22News.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The President of the Greater Springfield YMCA is resigning. The 22News I-Team obtained a copy of Kirk Smith’s resignation letter. In it, he said he endured a “number of racially charged attacks.”

Kirk Smith has led the Greater Springfield YMCA for the past four years. He’s leaving for a similar job in Florida.

In addition to the “racially charged attacks,” his resignation letter states he endured “character assassination” and “the undermining of his authority.” Smith didn’t want to be interviewed for this story, he deferred to the Chairman of the Y’s b board of directors, Jeffrey Poindexter

(Is there a problem that needs to be addressed within the “Y” now moving forward?) “In general we can always do better and Kirk was at the head of that diversity and inclusion. With respect to one comment made there’s been a lot of communications with board members and staff.  I don’t want to address one comment, but its an important aspect of what Kirk brought to the table here, diversity and inclusion, we’re still moving in the right direction on that,” said Poindexter.

Poindexter told 22News that Smith left the Greater Springfield “Y” a better place than when he arrived, mentioning how he maintained the programs at the Dunbar Community Center, and opened a new “Y” facility in Agawam.

He said they’ll begin a national search with the help of the YMCA of the USA to find Smith’s replacement. Smith plans to leave July 3rd.

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