Dear Play At The Core Community,
As we mark the one year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd and I reflect on Play At The Core’s work, I feel grateful for the change efforts we have started to make and also more motivated than ever to promote healing and equity in the field of child and youth development.
Last June, I shared three commitments with our Community about how I as a leader, and Play At The Core as an organization, would continue to push ourselves and the field of child and youth development to confront racism directly:
- To seek, listen, elevate, and give credit to the perspectives of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) that inform our work.
- To grow our organizational capacity to engage in conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- To challenge other white people, especially those in leadership, to rethink our personal narrative about our own success and our role in supporting social change.
Despite increased dialog and emerging evidence of growth in our work, the fact remains that we are so far from realizing the change we seek: to see youth thrive over adversity. Racism remains the single greatest barrier to thriving for children in the communities of color where we work. From the lack of services and resources available to children of color throughout the pandemic, to the steady increase in public displays of racism and crimes against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, to the murders of Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, and Mah’Kiah Bryant by police, to the ongoing detention of immigrant children at the southern border. The impacts of racism remain the greatest threat to the health and wellbeing of children in our country, and Play At The Core’s response remains inadequate.
As an organization, we will continue to prioritize work to undo racism within our organization and with our partners: to speak out against injustice, to push for greater accountability in child and youth development — particularly by asking critical questions of my fellow white leaders in the space — and to create space to uplift the richness of diverse perspectives and individuals that comprise our work. As part of this ongoing effort, in the coming months, we plan to invite you to take part in a series of Focus Group conversations that will seek your feedback as we identify specific opportunities within our work to more intentionally center equity.
|With love and gratitude,
|Play At The Core, LLC