F5 Mendocino Commitment
From the moment they are born, babies come into the world with hearts filled with love, hope, optimism, and acceptance. Our collective responsibility is to provide opportunities for those qualities to flourish in all children.
FIRST 5 Mendocino stands with families, children, and communities against racism, oppression, and inequality in all of its forms.
Every act of hate and racism can destroy the opportunities for children to develop and grow. Exposure to these repeated acts can result in intergenerational trauma. We must unequivocally be proactive in our role to lift up our county’s children and their families. We must demand and find better ways forward for our community through equity, justice, and human dignity for all. We must listen and learn from the individuals in our community about how to better meet their needs and protect their rights.
FIRST 5 Mendocino is committed to working alongside our partners and community members to make certain we provide the support and resources necessary for children and families to be safe, healthy, and thriving. We remain steadfast in our commitment to building communities where children are surrounded by opportunity and in our collective work to create systemic change to ensure every child can succeed. We are committed to quality improvement and will conduct frequent assessments to identify and address changing needs in our community.
FIRST 5 Mendocino acknowledges that institutional racism continues to impact the lives of people of color and that the disproportionate outcomes for children living in these communities continue to lag behind their peers. In addition to communities of color, geographic isolation, poverty, and unequal access to educational opportunities all play a role in disproportionate outcomes.
Changing systems takes time and concerted effort, not just at the programmatic level, but with careful attention to organizational structure and behaviors, community practices, and policies at the local, state, and federal level. It takes intentional and ongoing acknowledgment of these truths and willingness to create new commitments, practices, and behaviors. It starts individually, with both staff and Commissioners holding ourselves and each other accountable to be part of a changing tide of equity that will lead to more equal outcomes for all children. For families and communities to thrive, community-based organizations and partners must ensure that spaces of belonging are created and fostered where parents, caregivers, and front-line service providers are able to have personal agency, experience safety, make demands upon and take part in leading organizational, cultural, institutional, and systemic change.
FIRST 5 Mendocino is building a systematic process for deeply embodying this work and measuring our process. The greater community conversation around anti-racism, racial trauma, and institutionalized racism has demonstrated this need. Beyond our statement of commitment, the Commission will invest in co-creating a framework with providers, parents, and caregivers that guides our equity building with strategies, goals, and measurements that ensure transparent accountability.