January is National Mentoring Month. It is a time to celebrate and reflect.
But these first weeks of 2021, we’ve been given extra to worry about. The anger, hatred, and actions of an organized white American mob was fully evidenced on live television. They charged OUR Capitol. They beat those who resisted them. They tried to track down specific members of Congress, laughed at the destruction they wrought, and threatened the whole nation with promises of more violence.
At center stage was white supremacy. These appalling, riotous acts against our democracy and our children’s future are intolerable and as ADULTS, we have serious responsibilities. How do we explain this to OUR children? What exactly do we tell them about the behavior of grown-ups? How do we respond when they ask why Black and Brown non-violent protesters are met with overwhelming force, including tear gas, while an armed white mob attacks our Capitol to little resistance?
These insurrectionist actions against our nation bear witness that we don’t think much about our kids or how they see, think, or feel. Yet these are the very things that, over time, create internal despair and reinforce the belief that nothing will ever change… so why hope or even try?
ADULTS, we have a problem and it’s US!
In the words of James Baldwin, “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”
The future of our country is here – in our children, representing all ages from birth through age 25. But where are the ADULTS? Who among us will show up to love ALL of them, muster the courage to tell the truth, and work for lasting change?
We call upon you, this National Mentoring Month, to join us in mobilizing more ADULTS who understand we must be accountable for our children’s future and stand against racism, bigotry and injustice. Our actions matter. Our youth are watching.
Rebecca (Becky) J. Hatter
President and CEO
ACCOUNTABILITY TO OUR COMMITMENTS
In June 2020 following the senseless death of George Floyd, BBBSEMO Board of Directors publicly committed to:
- Standing, unflinchingly, against racism, bigotry and injustice.
- Ensuring our agency is guided by and accountable to the voices of those we serve.
- Driving systemic conversations to serve the whole child and whole family.
- Building a diverse “accountability team,”inclusive of staff representatives.
Since its release, we have taken these specific actions:
- Our Board of Directors launched a Governance Task Force to review and reconsider our Board structure and the policies and procedures that guide it. We anticipate finalizing this work by the end of 2021.
- We created a Staff Advisory Council – the first created in the agency’s history – that meets monthly with President and CEO, Becky Hatter, ensuring staff dreams and concerns are heard and addressed.
- Our Staff of Color organized themselves to draft and present their Three Best Hopes, now an agency anchor document, to the agency’s Leadership Team. Today, they lead critical conversations related to our program structures and systems, human resources, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts.
Hold us accountable. Stay updated and connected.
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