Updated: Jun 13
As the national executive director of Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) USA, I have searched for the words to express comfort, understanding, and encouragement to our affiliates, staff, families, and supporters and to convey my belief that we will get through these difficult times together.
It was important to share a message with you promptly, but as a mother, I will admit that this message wasn’t easy to craft.
I had to press pause for a moment and allow myself time to grieve and acknowledge the pain and sadness caused by witnessing the graphic killing of George Floyd. The senseless killing of an unarmed man as he called out for his mother has triggered hurt, fear, and outrage. There was something about this horrific act that rocked our nation to its core.
Americans protest when they feel devalued and ignored. The discrimination that is deeply rooted in systems that black and brown people must engage in, survive in, and excel in can make anyone feel like they can't breathe. It’s painful.
The encouragement our home visitors and staff give to our families and the confidence that families build is so critical. Confident parent voices ultimately become advocates, and that kind of skilled advocacy and confidence is precisely what’s needed to bring about change in peaceful and effective ways. Our work in the home visiting field has the power to change the world!
We want our network to know that if you are hurting today, struggling to find words to express your grief, or pushing yourselves to focus on your daily obligations in the midst of all that we’re experiencing in this country, the national office team at HIPPY USA understands. We are right there with you and we support you.
Secondly, we have serious work to do in this country and in our communities to get to a better place. There are new opportunities to get to know each other better. I’ve heard from so many voices from within our network regarding how much thoughts and reactions have evolved over just the past two weeks. The general theme we hear repeatedly is that silence isn’t the answer, even though it can be scary to be brave in those moments when words or behaviors devalue others.
These can be hard conversations to have. Please don’t stop talking. We encourage everyone to have the conversation, the real conversation, about race in America and why people across the globe are standing in solidarity with us in what feels like a fight for our collective humanity.
Moving forward, the national office will continue to collect and share resources to assist our affiliate staff, colleagues, families, and friends in having more of these much-needed conversations.
Our mission may be to partner with parents to prepare their children for school success, but there's so much more to our story, starting with how the work we do changes children's futures and the family's well-being. What is happening in our world now must inform and shape our work with all families in the future.
HIPPY USA will be there for our teams and families in over 120 communities across the country in learning, sharing, and supporting each other. It’s how we will keep at the forefront of our minds that every life matters, and the beauty of our diversity and our resolve to push for and demand a safer, more inclusive and just world for our children is our shared higher purpose.
Thank you for your support of HIPPY USA.
National Executive Director
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