For 106 years, we have been honored to serve the youth and families of Eastern Missouri. But now is the time – our time – to speak more clearly and act more boldly. Count on us to be more accountable and more action oriented. Count on us to stand up taller, for and with, our young people ages 5-25. Count on us to let them know that they matter and so much more. Black lives matter – full stop.
We commit to:
- Standing, unflinchingly, against racism, bigotry and injustice. 80% of the young people and families we serve are Black. The systemic injustices that prevail over them must be continually addressed, head-on. We will partner with local and national leaders and organizations, ensuring we are prepared to advance our efforts and achieve our goals – for our young people, families, volunteers, staff and greater community.
- Ensuring our agency is guided by and accountable to the voices of those we serve. We will make certain our youth, families, staff, and institutional partners are part of our governing process, ensuring that our operating models are aligned with our shared values and purpose.
- Driving systemic conversations to serve the whole child and whole family. The young people and families we serve rely on many systems – health, housing, justice, education, and employment. These systems are complicated, inter-connected and don’t often talk to each other. We will partner with our young people, families and institutions to bridge these gaps.
- Building a diverse “accountability team,” inclusive of staff representatives. The team’s charge is to ensure we fulfill our commitments, propose new obligations, and highlight concerns that must be addressed.
This next level of work begins now.
We know that we will not get it right every time and sometimes the progress will seem too slow or too fast. When we miss these marks, we will listen, reflect and adapt.
Our goal is straightforward – to become a more trusted and impactful community partner, providing the highest quality programs and services to the young people and families we serve.
While you can count on us to progress, you can also count on us to preserve. We hold close to our hearts our existing programs and we’re ready to enhance and expand them, with your help.
- One-to-One Mentoring – Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Big Couples and Big Families,
- Big Futures –Supporting alumni Little Brothers and Little Sisters through age 25,
- ABCToday Schools – Collective impact initiative to improve youth Attendance, Behavior and Course performance in four school districts and 19 schools, serving 8,000 students.
Everything about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri is rooted in trusting and enduring relationships. This is why we hear the call to action so clearly – we believe in the human spirit, the power of belonging and the necessity of love.
We must not delay.