A Message to our PPS Head Start Community

A Message to our PPS Head Start Community

Dear PPS Head Start community,

History is happening before our eyes, and it is directly affecting the Head Start community. People are taking action to protest the violence, injustice, and trauma inflicted on Black Americans, joining their voices together in demanding it stop now. Today and every day, the PPS Head Start community is united in the belief that Black Lives Matter, and we will not be silent in the face of any threat to that belief. 

Our hearts go out to the loved ones of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and all others whose lives have been senselessly cut short. We want to acknowledge the additional layers of trauma and pain that our colleagues, students, and families of color are experiencing right now, compounding the disproportionate amount of stress and suffering many are already feeling during the COVID-19 crisis. 

To our staff and families of color, we want you to know that we see you, we respect you, and we support you. PPS Head Start renews its commitment to actively disrupting and dismantling racism. We know that the fight against oppression and hate cannot rest alone on the shoulders of people of color. We must lead it together. 

Superintendent Guerrero wrote last week, “We cannot remain neutral about racism. We are ready to stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with our community in the fight against anti-Black racism. These violent acts traumatize us as students, family members, educators, and community members, and I share in your grief and anguish. Now more than ever, we must remain resolute in our commitment to Black students.” 

How we, as a united community respond, can have long lasting effects on how we progress as a community, as a nation, and as a world. Know that we stand with you. Let

us continue to reach out and support one another. It is time for action as well as dialogue.

We cannot, and will not, be silent about pervasive and systemic racism impacting Communities of Color. Today, we deepen our commitment to dismantling inequitable and harmful systems and structures. We will actively and intentionally work to end the ingrained patterns of marginalization and disproportionality that harm children of color and their families. Today, more than ever, we embrace this imperative.

In solidarity,

Robert Cantwell, Director 

Eileen Isham, Director 

Nalota Herms, Education Supervisor 

Jason Roepel, Education Supervisor 

Katie McNeil, Mental Health Manager

Susan Fodell, Inclusion Manager

Carol Lowry, Family Service Manager

Jean Borgerding and Dea Tran, MESD Nurses