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Ending racism, building safer, sounder communities and healing

Ending racism, building safer, sounder communities and healing 

Hand in Hand parenting's mission pledge to combat racism

Black Lives Matter

Hand in Hand stands with Black people and with all people targeted by racism.

Black lives matter!

Let’s end racism, build safer, sounder communities, and help one another heal from the damage racism has done.

Hand in Hand firmly believes that all of us come into this world inclined to care deeply about one another. Children begin life with an inborn sense of justice. Families thrive when our communities are infused with cooperation, fairness, caring, and respect.

This is the kind of world we parents want for our children, grandchildren, and the generations to come.

We at Hand in Hand stand for an end to the four hundred year history of white violence toward Black people, Native Americans, immigrants, and all who are targeted by hatred. We understand that this will require substantial changes in our economic, social, judicial, legal, penal, corporate, and educational systems. That is a tall order, but our hunger for safe and vibrant communities is strong.

The crisis we currently face calls for change that is both systemic and personal. Changes in hearts, minds, and perception must accompany changes in legislation and policy. Change is not easy but all of us will lead more fulfilling lives when we have resolved the inequities that began so long ago.

Hand in Hand’s role in combating racism

Hand in Hand has done too little to combat racism thus far. The tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others have focused our attention and bolstered our resolve. We are ready to become a more active agent of change.

We pledge the following:

  • Hand in Hand will continue to inform every Instructor on how racism and internalized racism operates. We will encourage them to build alliances to eliminate racism in their own lives and in the lives of those around them. We will offer ongoing support, led by our Instructors of color, for our Instructors of color to heal from internalized racism, so they can continue to reclaim their confidence and power, enjoy their children and advocate for them, and help other parents do the same.
  • We will offer ongoing support to our white Instructors so they can combat racism in their own lives and communities, listen to white parents on the topic of systemic racism, raise their children to treat others with respect, and help other parents to do the same.

When our Instructors have the necessary experience, we will invite parents to join support groups on eliminating racism. These groups will focus on changing our own attitudes and trigger points, and on tackling the emotional hurdles we face while working for equity in our cultures, laws, funding, school policies, neighborhoods, workplaces, and more. In our communications with parents, we will regularly focus on what parents can do to eliminate racism and promote systemic change.

Hand in Hand strongly believes in the power of listening with warmth and respect, so that the emotions behind the impulse to hurt can be heard, understood, and processed, creating a stronger human bond across the gulf of hurt and pain.

With listening, no one has to give up in discouragement. With listening, we are exposed to the human mind at work on tough problems, and the genius that finally shines through.

To build a more just society, white people will need to listen, listen, listen to Black people and others targeted by racism. We can support their leadership and amplify their voices. Just as importantly, we can listen, listen, listen to white people, asking for their thoughts and feelings about racism and the prospect of systemic change. We can bring this issue into the light, where it belongs.

If you’re looking for a Listening Partner to help you take on some interesting work on racism, please go to this page for resources.

Hand in Hand is not a perfect organization. We have much more to do to promote diversity in every direction. We know we’re learning. We also know that every person deserves respect and that for our children to have the world we want for them, it’s time to tackle racism, learn new things, and be a part of a change that has been such a long time coming!

With respect and anticipation,

Patty Wipfler and the staff and Board of Directors at Hand in Hand Parenting

How Can Parents Effect Change for Good?

Patty speaks here about how we parents can work to combat racism, starting with ourselves and our families.

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