Families First stands in solidarity with the Black community and everyone fighting for social justice. The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many others will not be tolerated. We strongly affirm that Black lives matter and that police brutality and racial violence are abhorrent.
At Families First, we say,
“parents have the power to shape their children's futures.”
Yet we are painfully aware of how the systems of injustice in this country keep too many parents from fully accessing that power.
Parents and caregivers across Greater Boston join our parenting programs and work extremely hard
so their children can have brighter futures. But those brighter futures will not be truly realized unless every member of our community does the hard work to take on the deeply-rooted racism and oppression that has existed since this country’s origin.
The negative impact that systemic racism has on the mental health and well-being of Black parents and children is not a new issue. Black families have faced it for generations, and the effects of disparity are apparent even before a child is born.
In order to step up and fight harder against systemic racism, we are doing the following:
- Starting now, we are establishing new internal goals for advocacy and accountability, and we will build actionable objectives into staff members’ work plans and our long-term organizational strategic priorities.
- Our staff has begun to form a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee that is discussing ideas and steps for changes that can be enacted at all levels of the organization.
- Parenting Educators are continuing to lead our virtual programs and are facilitating conversations with parents about the trauma, stress, and anger they are experiencing.
We recognize that we can be doing so much more, and we will share updates as our plans turn into additional concrete actions.
We also stand with the organizations and individuals operating locally and nationally to support the fight for social justice, and we will use our platforms to uplift the BIPOC voices that need to be heard.
In the coming days and weeks, I invite you to reach out to me to share your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions as we continue to support parents.
On behalf of all of us at Families First, we look forward to a future where every parent has the power to shape their children’s futures. And together, alongside many others, we will fight to make that a reality.
Susan Covitz, Executive Director
JD LaRock, Board Chair