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January 19, 2022

The Ally: Honoring Dr. King with Hard, Solid Thinking


Remembering and honoring Dr. Martin Luther King as we did this past Monday inspires many thoughts and feelings. I remember Dr. King. My father encouraged me to listen to Dr. King's speeches on TV when I was a young girl. He told me that although I might not understand what Dr. King said at the time, someday I would realize how important Dr. King's words were. I am thankful for my father's insight. 

I don't know if anyone could ever fully grasp the importance of Dr. King's words, but he certainly gave us many powerful ones to remember. I think about that a lot each year on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. It is easy to be drawn to just the many warm and inspiring words Dr. King shared. I try to also focus on things he said that make me uncomfortable. I imagine the things that make me uncomfortable may be what I most need to hear. 

These words of Dr. King give me pause: "Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think."

Children and adults with mental health and other challenges face complicated issues in our state right now. So do their families. We must reject quick fixes and half-baked solutions and instead insist upon everyone grappling together to find answers that will work.

Our state has so many opportunities for meaningful change. We strive to share some of those opportunities with you in each edition of the Ally. Last week we shared policy information. This week we share information about legislation, mental health reports and ways you can be involved in and give feedback on Families as Allies' work, especially parent peer support. Everyone needs to be at the table together, engaging in "hard, solid thinking" and making the most of every opportunity to improve things. 

Please join us Thursday, January 20 at noon for our Virtual Bring Your IEP and Other School Questions and our Parent Peer Support Virtual Conversation for Anyone working with Parent Peer Supporters on January 20 at 3 p.m. Families as Allies Board Virtual Quarterly Board Meeting is from 6:30 - 7:30 on January 20. 

Don't forget to join us for our virtual combined Community Partnership Celebration and New Year Open House on Monday, January 24 at 5:30 p.m. The event is free, with paid sponsorships available. There will be opportunities to share your ideas at the event. Please also take a few minutes to complete this survey and tell us how we did in 2021 and what you think Families as Allies should focus on in 2022.

Joy Hogge signature


Track bills through the Mississippi Legislature via its website and Youtube to stay on top of legislation that’s important for families.
Join in Monday, January 24, for our 8th Annual Virtual Community Partnership Celebration/Open House at 5:30 p.m.
The Coordinator of Mental Health Accessibility and his office released its second quarterly report in December 2021.


Join the MS Parent Training Information Center and learn how to be prepared for the next phase of education.
The Mississippi State Board of Education meeting will be held on Jan. 20th. Participants may attend live or view the meeting via live stream.
This hour is open for any family member to drop in for all or some of the time to ask questions or get feedback about IEP issues.
Join in as we share an overview of Families as Allies’ parent peer support training curriculum and ongoing support and training.
The Families as Allies quarterly board meeting will be held in ZOOM and is open to anyone who wants to attend.
Join Families as Allies on Jan 24th for a combined virtual event including the Annual Community Partnership and Annual Open House.
Speakers will inform, empower, inspire, engage, and aid teens in their quest in becoming a Fearless Hero during the Awareness Summit.
Join in as we share an overview of Families as Allies’ parent peer support training curriculum and ongoing support and training.
Hear the results of a statewide survey regarding the status of early childhood partnerships and efforts in Mississippi.
The 2022 Mississippi Trauma Informed Care Conference planning committee is seeking keynote presentations and breakout sessions.
Participants will enjoy a training session on the basics of advocating for suicide prevention and current policy issues impacting our state.



From the National Federation of Families:

Last year, we surveyed families and created a compelling infographic spotlighting the incredible challenges so many were facing. In particular, we asked how parents and caregivers were coping with COVID-19 and the strain it put on every aspect of family life - employment, education, childcare, etc. Families who completed the anonymous survey provided us with critical information about how the pandemic was impacting them and their children, especially in terms of academic progress, mental and behavioral health and substance use.

We are asking families a year later to share this vital information with us again so we can continue to advocate for the needs of families and children at the federal level. Please take a few moments to complete the 2022 survey and share it with your network of colleagues, partners, families and friends. Hearing from as many parents and caregivers as possible will help us represent family voices by painting the most accurate picture of family health and wellness today.

This annual report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation offers national and state insight into child well-being and explores how we can do better by kids.
Learn how to recognize and cope with disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD) in children. DMDD is a mental health disorder in which children are angry most of the time and have a lot of temper tantrums in reaction to things that don’t seem like a big deal.

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