At First 5 Contra Costa, our work is grounded in our commitment to diversity and inclusion, equity, cultural humility, and community partnerships. These core values drive our work and our conviction that Black Lives Matter.
Over the weekend, our communities exploded in grief, pain, and outrage over the horrifying killing of George Floyd in Minnesota, and the callous way a white woman used her privilege to weaponize the police against a black man in New York. Both of these events are compounded by the COVID-19 global pandemic, which has placed a disproportionate burden of illness, death and hardship on racial and ethnic minority groups.
Racism has a deep and lasting impact that terrorizes and traumatizes children and families, creating a sense of hopelessness and despair. Our community should not have to fear that they will be treated differently and harmed because of the color of their skin.
Together, we must dismantle and eradicate cultural, systemic and institutional racism. Every African-American child has the human right to grow up in a just society with access to quality education, equitable health care, and a criminal justice system that is fair.
All leaders must stand in solidarity with the African-American community. Those with influence and privilege must use it to address inequitable systems and hold one another accountable.
In this moment, all of us are called to live our values, to stand together, to work together, and to be courageous together, because all young children deserve better.
First 5 Contra Costa envisions that all young children will be healthy, ready to learn, and supported in safe, nurturing families and communities. We are committed to creating a space with community to listen, to learn, and to act in support of our children. Together we can create the change we want to see.
I stand for love and justice for myself and for all others.
Ruth Fernández, Ed.D.
First 5 Contra Costa
Resources that can be shared widely with community:
How to Talk to Children About Racism
- Embrace Race, raising a generation of children who are thoughtful, informed, and brave about race: https://www.embracerace.org/
- Raising Race Conscious Children, a resource for talking about race with young children: http://www.raceconscious.org/
- Teaching Tolerance, to help teachers and schools educate children and youth to be active participants in a diverse democracy: https://www.tolerance.org/
How to Find Support with Trauma and Mental Health
- BEAM, to remove the barriers that Black people experience getting access to or staying connected with emotional health care and healing. https://www.beam.community
- Zero To Three, Racism and Violence: Using Your Power as a Parent to Support Children Aged Two to Five. https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/1598-racism-and-violence-using-your-power-as-a-parent-to-support-children-aged-two-to-five
- Contra Costa Crisis Center, if you are in need of someone to speak with or listen, dial 2-1-1 to access the Contra Costa Crisis Center, available 24-7 to help people through crisis, and provide or connect them with culturally relevant resources in the community. https://www.crisis-center.org/
Additional Ways to Support Our Community
- Black Lives Matter, builds power to bring justice, healing, and freedom to Black people across the globe. https://blacklivesmatter.com/
- Change.org, to sign or start a petition: https://www.change.org/
- Color of Change, to help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us: https://colorofchange.org/
- Moms Rising, where moms and people who love them go to change the world: https://www.momsrising.org/