Casey Family Programs Board of Trustees and Executive Team statement: Let the children be well
Casey Family Programs’ Board of Trustees and Executive Team issue the following statement on the well-being of children.
Since our beginning as a foundation, Casey Family Programs has been driven by the question, “How are the children?” In our early years it was the voice of our founder, James E. Casey, uttering this concern as he sought opportunities to change the lives of our most vulnerable citizens.
In our later years we have continued this pursuit, moved by the tribal greeting of the Masai, “Kasserian Ingera,” which asks the same question, “How are the children?”
Building Communities of Hope has become the operating framework for Casey Family Programs as we seek to achieve the tribal response to Kasserian Ingera: “Sapati Ingera,” which means, “All the children are well.”
While it is our goal that one day this declaration will ring true all across America, we know that as we look around this nation today, all of our children are not well.
All of our children cannot be well as long as too many of them are growing up in households where they and their families are trying to survive on insufficient income that equals approximately $8.00 a day per family member. All of our children cannot be well as long as any of them are allowed to be confined behind bars because their parents made the decision to seek asylum in America to escape the devastation, oppression and death that threatened them in their country.
All of our children cannot be well as long as we allow some of them to grow up in ZIP Codes and neighborhoods that are under the constant threat of violence; the lack of quality education in poorly funded schools; or the lack of hope caused by decades of underinvestment.
All of our children cannot be well as long as we allow dehumanization, hatred, unequal justice and racism to continue to be major determinants of the quality of their life in America.
Those of us who believe in hope must take the actions necessary to change this path for all of our children. Together we can make this nation the place of hope that it has been envisioned to be throughout its history.
This nation was seen as a place of hope for its original inhabitants, the Native American Tribes, because of the life-sustaining resources that it provided for their children, their families and their tribes.
It was seen as a place of hope for those who were drawn here by the belief that a light by the golden door would welcome “the tired, the poor, the homeless and the huddled masses” yearning for freedom.
This nation even became a place of hope for those who were originally brought here in the cargo holds of ships, sold into enslavement and yet many of whom have risen to some of the highest levels of achievement in this nation’s history over the past 400 years.
But as we look around today, we find ourselves faced with some of the same challenges that marginalized communities and others have fought against throughout much of our effort to co-exist in America. A part of our core values at Casey Family Programs is an unwavering belief in diversity, equity, anti-racism and anti-discrimination. We believe in the intrinsic dignity and value of every person. We believe that every child, in every family, in every community in this nation must be given the opportunity to be surrounded by the life-affirming embrace of hope.
And we who believe in hope must stand together to ensure that in this land of hope, all of our children can breathe free. We who believe in hope must stand together to ensure that none of our children die in government custody while awaiting justice.
We who believe in hope must live each day with intentionality about our efforts to ensure that we will not allow ourselves to become a nation that is divided by our differences or paralyzed by our fears.
We must be intentional about finding a way to become stronger and more united by the power, capacity and opportunity that live in the strength of our diversity.
We who believe in hope must stand together to ensure that all of our children have the opportunity to thrive in this land.
“Wacha watoto wawe sawa — Let the children be well”
The Casey Family Programs Board of Trustees and Executive Team
David C. Mills, Chair
Joan B. Poliak, Vice Chair
America Bracho, Secretary
Sharon L. McDaniel, Treasurer
Lance G. Morgan, Trustee
Richard J. Olin, Trustee
Doug Patejunas, Trustee
Walter Howard Smith, Jr., Trustee
Dr. William C. Bell, President and CEO
Joseph Boateng, Chief Investment Officer
Marva Hammons, Executive Vice President
Scott McCaulou, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Roxanna Nowparast, Executive Vice President and Chief Program Counsel
Laura Sagen, Executive Vice President
David Sanders, Executive Vice President