Image: Sacrée Frangine

Black Lives Matter: A Letter from Cradles to Crayons Founder and CEO

Dear Cradles to Crayons Supporters,

Diversity is our Strength, Inclusivity our Bond

This weekend, people of all backgrounds took to the streets in our Cradles to Crayons’ communities and across the nation to protest the brutal killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and the continued violence, discrimination, and racism toward Black Americans. Vigils are planned, social justice policy discussions have taken on a heightened urgency, racism and injustice capture Zoom meetings and classroom discussions. My husband is Black and my kids are biracial, so this is profoundly personal to me.

Will this crisis finally move our country toward greater equity, or will the instigators of division and hatred pull us further apart? This goes right to the heart of Cradles to Crayons’ cultural values—our norms and behaviors—that serve as our North Star as we work toward realizing our vision where all children will be able to access what they need to reach their potential.

Diversity is our Strength, Inclusivity our Bond

We believe in the dignity of all our coworkers, and in every child and family who we serve. We seek to foster empathy for others through service to our community and intentionality for how we fulfill our mission. You are an integral part of our mission and our community.

We Speak the Truth and Face the Facts

These last ten weeks have been among the most difficult in our country’s history. Our nation is hurting. We are all hurting. But People of Color bear an outsized burden in this pandemic—with Black Americans with COVID-19 dying at twice the rate of White Americans and 45% of Black households reporting job or wage loss in the early months of the pandemic. These communities also make up a large percentage of the essential workforce—in grocery stores, transit systems, delivery services, and health care. Structural discrimination and ongoing racism put these communities at greater risk for violence, poor health outcomes, and disparities in education.

Kids Come First

Cradles to Crayons holds a fundamental belief: Everyone deserves the essentials they need to thrive and survive. Our mission of providing essentials to children flows from that belief. Our vision is that one day, all children will be able to access what they need to reach their potential.

We Lead the Way

This starts with leading by example. We take a stand for what’s right. And we bring others along with us. Our kids are not too young to talk about race. We can have age-appropriate conversations about everyone’s role in ending the racism and violence in our country. My kids’ school shared these resources.

We are One and We are Stronger Together

For the healing to start, we must recognize the injustices and push for a new beginning, together.

We hope you find the healing through the discomfort so we can all navigate towards a better tomorrow.

Stay safe, stay strong,